LSESD’s community development and relief arm, MERATH, has been very busy this winter coming alongside churches and helping Syrian refugee and Lebanese households make it through the winter. With night time temperatures in places as low as -10 degrees Celsius winter assistance has never been more needed. Families continue to come in from Syria every month and often arrive with nothing. Praise the Lord our winter programs and supporters came together to help prepare these families for winter. So far this winter MERATH/LSESD and its church partners have distributed 6,000 blankets, 3,000 mattresses, 365 stoves and heaters and 1,330 fuel vouchers totally $209,000 in assistance to families in need.
Meet Hadi and Salam from Syria
Hadi* and Salam* have two children and live in a small room on some orchard property in a small town in North Lebanon. The family has a young toddler 2 ½ years old and a 7 months old. They fled to Lebanon three years ago and have lived in the same place the entire time. Hadi and his family originally lived in Idlib governorate in Syria near the Turkey border. Before the war Hadi was a farmer and owned his house in Syria. Seven months before they fled he married Salam. Their two kids have been born here in Lebanon. The house that he left in Aleppo is completely destroyed. When it is safe they wish to return with their family.
Here in Lebanon life is very hard. There is no work and both of his children are often sick. In the winter Hadi can only find work 3-4 days a month at US$ 17/day or approximately US$ 70/month. The family’s main expenses include food and medical care for their little ones. They spend roughly US$ 300 on food each month and one trip to the hospital for the children can cost US$30 each time. Simple milk for their child is US$ 12 and when asked how they buy it Hadi says, “I buy everything on credit from the store owners. When the summer comes and I can work again I will start to pay it off.”
Currently Hadi and his family are US$ 700 in debt. Their family is not receiving from the UN for food or any winter assistance. Thanks for the church and the work of MERATH the pastor was able to provide two mattresses and four blankets along with monthly fuel vouchers worth US$ 60 each. Without the winter assistance Hadi says, “My family slept on a blanket on the floor. We had nothing and would not be able to find help from anywhere.” He says, “They would starve or live in deep debt. Where they live in North Lebanon it’s very cold at night and below freezing much of the time with temperatures ranging from -5 to -10 degrees Celsius.
Hadi’s deepest hope is that there will be peace in Syria and that they can return to Syria to rebuild and start their life over.
Please join us in prayer for Hadi and Salam and their children, and for the millions of families affected by the Syria crisis. Pray for God’s protection on them this winter season. Pray for peace in Syria.
* Names have been changed.