Wanted: Hope

Hope: elusive and easily lost in the fog of endless disaster.

Hopelessness is being one of the seventy percent of Lebanon’s population that is unemployed. Hopelessness is the scarcity of food and barren grocery store shelves. Hopelessness is savings almost gone and what is left is worthless in the face of a collapsing currency crisis. Hopelessness is not being able to find a doctor. So many of them have left to find places to work that will support their own families. Hopelessness is a political system in shambles, a country whose “ship” is rudderless. Hopelessness is burning tires, violent protests, and unsafe streets. The emotional well-being of children and youth in Lebanon, their hope for any kind of future, is in jeopardy.

But through the fog of despair there are faintly glimmering lights of hope.

The Fellowship’s Child Sponsorship program operates under four basic principles.

  1. Education: Your monthly sponsorship gives access to education and school supplies — immediately impacting young lives and investing in the future of their communities.
  2. Physical: Provide a safe place for the vulnerable — giving children access to much-needed medical care, healthy meals, daily activities, and a chance to be a child.
  3. Emotional: We create environments that are built on love, respect, and hope — nurturing and mentoring each child and youth through a successful transition into adulthood.
  4. Spiritual: Each child and youth is provided the opportunity to know Jesus Christ as their Saviour — encouraging them to grow to model Him in their lives as Kingdom people.

We know that the current worldwide COVID crisis has contributed to rising rates of mental health issues. The Fellowship’s Child Sponsorship program is commited to addressing that issue as it relates to the children and youth in the care of Fellowship missionaries in Honduras, Sri Lanka, and Lebanon. But how does FAIR’s ministry in Lebanon address the issue of emotional health, the feeding of the fire of hope for a better tomorrow?

The Clementia Life Centre provides, among many other resources, support for those struggling with mental health issuses. From a recent newsletter comes one example:  “The psychosocial program at CLC, led by a psychologist, is helping seven students through one-on-one sessions and 100 learners from online classes. One parent called us saying their daughter is harming herself. Our staff and psychologist are working closely with this family to ensure their safety.”

Cedar Home, also part of The Fellowship’s Child Sponsorship program in Lebanon, has had to house its girls outside of the complex because of COVID restrictions. But the home still maintains constant contact with the girls, providing for their physical and emotional needs and those of their hosts and neighbours. Fear is the single-most expressed emotion. Visits are made when possible, Zoom meetings, and one day camps outside the complex with protocols in place, help to reassure the children that they are not alone.

For more information on how you can bring hope to children and youth not only in Lebanon, but in Sri Lanka and Honduras, visit our website.