With the Beirut explosion having made approximately 300,000 people homeless, the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (ABTS) decided to open its arms and its residences to those in need. Upon hearing the shocking news, ABTS staff and partners jumped into action to repaint, remodel, and fix up their student dorms to house those whose homes were destroyed. With all hands on deck, ABTS was able to receive its first family on August 7th. Since then, displaced families have been gradually arriving and now, along with the medical workers and first responders who were already being housed on campus in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 70 people of all ages are currently staying in ABTS’s various residences.
ABTS’s staff is working hard to make sure that their guests have comfortable stays and that their needs are provided for. In order to provide the guests with three meals a day, MERATH has lent a hand by providing food and hygiene packages, and church partners have offered to cook wholesome meals for the displaced guests. Additionally, Heart For Lebanon supplied comfortable pillows and linen to ensure a restful sleep and New Heights delivered mobile washing machines so that the guests could wash their clothing. It has been a blessing to see the body of Christ working together to help those in need.
What the ABTS staff had not anticipated was that many of the guest families would be injured. Thus, four medical workers jumped on board and volunteered to help change the bandages of those wounded. Additionally, ABTS has been providing medical check-ups and medications for those with medical requirements.
Finally, more than just physically injured, many people were also left psychologically and emotionally wounded. After tending to their medical needs, ABTS began calling upon mental health professionals to help victims recover from the traumatic event as these inner needs begin to surface. These professionals have taken to the field by providing therapy sessions for free for those impacted by the blast.
ABTS is grateful for all the volunteers and church groups who are showing God’s love and care for our guests. Please pray with the LSESD community for the Church in Lebanon as it serves the vast needs in the midst of these calamitous times and for those who suffered as a result of the blast.