Only 24 hours after the deadly blast that devastated Beirut, the SAT-7 ARABIC channel broadcast a live program to stand with the cities’ people in their pain, questioning, and search for hope. From the SAT-7 Lebanon studio, three church leaders offered spiritual support to help those battered by multiple waves of adversity take heart and carry on.
“What we are seeing today is unlike anything we’ve seen yesterday or will see tomorrow. There is glass in the streets and tears in people’s eyes. There is a personal and material loss that cannot be counted. But the unity of God can bring us together through faith,” says Presenter Saeed Melki, introducing the 90-minute program.
Lebanon: Pain and Hope aired as the latest reports showed a death toll of at least 137, with more than 5,000 people injured and hospitals overwhelmed. The program came from SAT-7’s Beirut studio, which is several miles from the blast site. The studio experienced minor damage. While all SAT-7 staff are accounted for, almost all have suffered damage to their homes.
On the program, Pastor Hikmat Kashouh of Resurrection Church Beirut and Dr. Nabil Costa, Secretary–General of the Association of Evangelical Schools, discussed how people were affected, the Church’s response, and how all can find hope amid the darkness. The program included a report with aerial and street views of Beirut, as well as a video from the Beirut Baptist School, which took damage while 12 staff members were inside.
The three guests explained how people are trying to make sense of the explosion. Many are asking why God let this happen, and where the responsibility for the blast lies. Residents are also questioning the role of the Church in a crisis like the explosion and asking if the role of the Church should be bigger.
The church leaders noted how churches are mobilizing, with some working together to care for the physical and psychological needs of the people.
“It is my role to take part in this world,” says Pastor Kashouh. “It is the duty of the Church to raise a voice [during times like these]. Life is greater than death. Light is greater than darkness. Christ didn’t say to speak the light of the world, he said, you are the light of the world.”
Please Pray for Lebanon
The explosion rocked a city already facing multiple crises, with an economic crisis causing hundreds of thousands of families to go hungry, political turmoil deepening, and COVID-19 cases on the rise.
“We need a lot of prayer for Lebanon to be able to get up and move forward. We are focusing now on what we can produce to help and encourage people and to look to God. We need a miracle to continue in this small country,” says Maroun Bou Rached, SAT-7 Lebanon Executive Director.
- Pray for Lebanon, for the injured and for those who have lost family. Pray that they will experience God’s mercy, comfort, and healing.
- Pray for the 300,000 Beirut residents who have lost their homes due to the destructive explosion, and that they will find provision and support in the churches that are reaching out to help.
- Pray for God’s mercy on Lebanon, which has already experienced so much devastation this year and that the situation will improve quickly.
- Thank God for the mobilization of so many organizations and countries around the world that are reaching out and sending medical help and supplies.
To help provide hope-filled programming to people in Lebanon that touches lives in the midst of crisis, please consider a special gift to the Lebanese Crisis Fund. Thank you for remembering your brothers and sisters in the Middle East!
SAT-7 Lebanon produces nonpartisan, nonpolitical Arabic language Christian programming, which is broadcast across the Middle East and North Africa. Its ACADEMY brand of programming specializes in education and development aiming to inspire and educate millions of children across the region, as well as equip and encourage parents and teachers. The ministry’s vision is to see a growing Church in the Middle East and North Africa, confident in Christian faith and witness, serving the community and contributing to the good of society and culture.