In March, 1956, a 5.2 magnitude earthquake shook the Lebanese mountainous Chouf area, destroying thousands of homes, and killing 136 people, and its impact became an enduring historical milestone throughout the sixties and seventies. And that was just a prelude for more devastating earthquakes that have plagued this tiny country, home to a stunningly diverse populace, whose lives changed forever in 1975.
Since that doomed year, new fault lines have been emerging, more threatening than that of the infamous Yammouneh, and more destructive than the entire Dead Sea Transform fault system. The multiple-shock “civil war”earthquake that started in 1975, caused a “great divide” between Lebanese people, a wave of immigration, substantial brain drain, and repercussions that are still insidiously undermining the whole fragile political, social, and economic systems.
True, the civil war, a typical proxy war fought on Lebanese territory ended in 1990, and the resilient population’s collective sigh of relief was resounding, for the Lebanese could finally pick up the shattered pieces of their lives and dare hope for better days.
However, after a few years of basking in prosperity and promise, in 2005, the Lebanese were shaken by another earthquake: the ruthless assassination of prime minister Hariri that left this country’s fate hanging precariously on new simmering tectonic plates.
New sectarian “divides” appeared with such imposing power that almost eclipsed the civil war’s impact on people’s livelihoods. Again, the Lebanese found themselves in an inextricably dire situation that escalated in 2006, with the Israeli- Hezbollah war that led to massive internal displacement and destruction of civilian infrastructure.
Then came the civil war in Syria which exacerbated the existing Lebanese fault lines: influxes of Syrian refugees poured into a country grappling with major conflicts and issues, while hordes of Lebanese were leaving their country again in search of a saner and safer future.
The final earthquake dealt the Lebanese a fatal blow
with the biggest economic meltdown the country has ever gone through, and Lebanon once again lost tens of thousands of its brains.
The very recent calamitous earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria, and left Lebanon reeling with its aftershocks, failed to subdue its corrupted politicians, and raised the ultimate question: can Lebanon handle another earthquake?
The mortified population would invariably respond with an ear splitting “no”; the warlord politicians would spew out their venomous lies; and the faithful would hold on to the hope they have in the Lord, and draw strength and fortitude from the knowledge that He is in control. Our prayer is for perseverance to continue being salt and light.
Pray for Lebanon, Pray for Us.
Pray with us so that we would remain here, carrying out the mission of reaching people with the Gospel.