There is nothing a mother would not do for her children. But sometimes even the most determined and dedicated mother simply does not have the resources or the opportunities to provide the most basic care.
According to a report published in January 2021 by the United Nations Refugee Agency, what has been described as the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time is a daily reality for almost a million registered refugees in Lebanon. Added to these are hundreds of thousands of other refugees, mostly Syrian, who remain unregistered.
In addition to the indescribable challenges of meeting the needs of an influx of refugees that represent between a fifth to a quarter of the population, are the equally difficult circumstances of a country overwhelmed by political and economic crises, a pandemic, and a massive explosion in 2020 that decimated a major portion of downtown Beirut, leaving thousands homeless and plunging the country even deeper into food insecurity. Ayaki Ito, UN representative to Lebanon, writes in March 2021, “Today, nine out of ten Syrian refugees live in extreme poverty, on less than LBP 308,728 per person per month — less than half the minimum wage.”**
What’s a mother to do?
The Clementia Life Centre is providing part of the answer to that question. Established in 2012, and now under the directorship of Fellowship International missionary Bechara Karkafi, CLC is dedicated to these goals: “…educational, moral and social, represented in contributing to the establishment of schools, universities, occupational centres, orphanages, nursing homes, day cares, training centres for people with disabilities and addiction, helping in prisons, clinics, hospitals, publishing houses, and media centres,” and to raising “…awareness at the moral, social and spiritual level in light of the teaching of the Bible; in collaboration with other institutions and individuals whose goals are consistent with the goals and objectives of the Association.”
Those are lofty goals! A recent newsletter from CLC describes what the realization of some of those objectives looks like on the ground.
“Our local currency has lost more than 80% of its value, Lebanese citizens struggle, while some Syrian refugee families we serve are totally dependent on our weekly food distribution. One mother said: ‘We can only eat from what CLC and your church provides.’ Another mom shared: ‘We need four bags of bread daily which is equal to my son’s monthly salary.’”
“…Abir, a mother who called us to help her Lebanese house owner saying: ‘She is very sick but no one is supporting her. I told her about your centre and church and how God put you in my way.’”
For refugees and Lebanese alike the Clementia Life Centre represents the extension of a mother’s love—a team made up of Christ followers who are reaching out to provide material, emotional, and spiritual help for those who cannot provide those things for themselves.
But what are the rest of us to do?
For more information in answer to that question, visit our website.