After four years of crisis and unrest in Lebanon, many locals and refugees remain on the fringes of society receiving limited medical care as medications sold in USD are becoming inaccessible. Churches from abroad have mobilized reach out teams over the years to support our local churches as they seek to serve their communities.
With a desire to serve others, a group of dedicated Irish medical professionals embarked on their fourth medical mission to Lebanon, a mission that transcends medical care alone. Driven by their deep-rooted faith, this remarkable team endeavored to bring hope, healing, and care to those with overwhelming needs in two new geographical areas they never served at before. Their mission stands as a testament to the remarkable impact that can be achieved for both body and soul, when faith and healthcare intertwine.
Beside the medical consultations and medications that were offered, the doctors also prayed for people. Pamela, a friend of LSESD who organizes the medical teams, was encouraged that almost everyone who was offered prayer in both clinics, accepted it with much appreciation.
In Rahbe, a town in North Lebanon, an old man and his wife from a non-Christian background attended the clinic for general checkup and received much needed medication that they could not afford. As Dr. Graeme, the lead doctor on the team, was praying for them, the man could not hold back his tears because of the care and love he felt. With gratitude, he returned with a large jar of local honey as a gift to the doctor.
Bahaa from Rahbe Church recounted, “this was the first time in ministry where we have welcomed and invited people from different religious backgrounds. Many have received prayers and left with a Bible. We were one team, despite not being trained for that, but the Holy Spirit was working among us, and we were showing Christ’s love to everyone, without favouritism.” He further mentioned that the archbishop’s secretary came to their church for the first time which indicates how great of an opportunity this was to build bridges with the local community. “We cannot believe how these things happened within two days,” exclaimed Bahaa.
When asked what he learned about the Church or God from his visit, Dr. Graig, who performed an eye surgery to remove a skin tumor shared with emotion: “I find it difficult to answer without tears. The Church here is so impressive and the way they have a whole view of the community and the way they want to reach out to all people, teaches me a lot about life and what real Church is like.” Dr. Katie also learnt that God is working in places that she didn’t realize and hadn’t been aware of: “I’ve learned that God doesn’t need us, He works Himself anyway. He allows us to take part in His mission and causes things to happen that make us respond and therefore bring help to somebody else who’s waiting for that help. God organizes it all.”
Dr. Gràinne shared: “everything we do is ministry to God; how we live our lives, how we chat, how we play, and how we talk to our children is all ministry to God. We don’t always get the opportunity to pray with people, yet I see my medical practice as a ministry to God.”
By the time the medical team in Lebanon was concluded, a total of 802 patients came for checkups over the span of 4 days. The medical team left Northern Ireland talking about medicine and culture, but on their return home they were talking more about God and how He is moving in Lebanon among the people.
“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” – Psalm 126:3 (NIV)
Pray for LSESD’s Ministry on the Ground
LSESD works towards supporting people who are struggling to afford medications and basic needs, with and through local churches and community-based organizations within their vicinity and beyond.