By Rebecca Massouh
As we are nearing the end of 2022, Lebanon’s economy continues declining steadily with no hope of stability in sight for many Lebanese households. Many families with different challenges have been struggling to survive and make ends meet in their country for the third year in a row. Hundreds of Lebanese families, including members of churches, have been going through a rough and deteriorated financial situation. Yet amid these hard times, the Lord remains faithful to His people, the Church.
Having a child with autism in a community that often rejects and looks down on families with special needs is an additional load no parent wants to carry along with the burden of living with little income and food insecurity.
Such is the story of Joseph, a faithful husband to Amanda and father to 12-year-old Sara and nine-year-old Hannah. His youngest daughter Hannah has autism and needs one of her parents to take care of her. Joseph, being unemployed, has taken this role of staying at home with her. His wife on the other hand is the house provider. Yet with a salary of 5.4 million Lebanese pounds, the equivalent of $138 US dollars, her income barely covers their basic needs such as food, the private generator for electricity, and their home loan. On top of this, their doctor visits now cost a minimum of 700,000 Lebanese pounds. Food vouchers are a relief for the financial burden this family has and gives food security to them and many other families in similar situations.
The use of food vouchers allows the simple and small act of going to a general supermarket to boost the morale of the family and preserve their dignity. Since it allows the beneficiaries the opportunity to go to the supermarkets and purchase according to their own individual needs at their own discretion, this makes food vouchers different than receiving a food box with pre-chosen items.
Another story is that of an elderly couple who live together in their home in a rural area of Lebanon
George* is the 83-year-old loving husband of Maria*. George suffers from heart problems, and Maria suffers from high blood pressure, lipid disorder and dizziness.
For context on the medical sector in Lebanon, the cost of medications has increased more than 10 times due to inflation and the gradual removal of the subsidies on medications.
With no source of stable income or work, George must do whatever he can to receive support and provide for himself and his wife as well as take care of Maria’s mother. He relies on charity organizations and public clinics to obtain medications and sources for heating their home. Since winter season is harsh in a country where government electricity is only available one to two hours per day, having other sources of heating is essential. With the very limited resources this couple has, the food vouchers they have been receiving for three years allow them to go to the store and buy what they need at their discretion, offering them dignity in being able to pay for the items they need.
Even though challenges may arise, the Lord takes care of His people and continues to provide a way out for His children. As the psalmist said: “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.” Our trust is in God’s faithfulness and ability to care for His children because He is a faithful Father.
*Names were changed to protect beneficiary privacy.
Help Families This Winter
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