LEBANON, BEIRUT — Our hope hangs by a thread. The COVID-19 pandemic and the massive blast that devastated Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, six months ago have brought my native country to its knees, and left many asking: “Will we ever see hope dawn again?”
The few medical facilities still standing after the gigantic explosion at the city’s port last August have run out of oxygen to treat COVID patients — and oxygen is now being sold on the black market. People are dying in their cars, unable to get into the city’s overwhelmed hospitals.
Captured on video and viewed by millions online around the world, the blast — called “Lebanon’s 9/11” by some — left a crater 140 feet deep, killed 200 people, seriously injured 6,000, destroyed thousands of homes, and caused damage estimated at $3 billion. Beirut is still reeling. The rest of the world has moved on.
Seeing the blast online, I found myself having flashbacks to the Lebanese Civil War I lived through as a young girl in the 1980s. The carnage was something I never thought I’d see again in my lifetime.
During the civil war, my sister and I took refuge in cartoons on television, and I dreamed I’d one day bring happiness and joy to children through television, too, and tell them about Jesus.
We desperately need a dose of joy and hope right now. Our economy has collapsed, our currency has been devalued by 80 percent, and prolonged lockdowns have fueled soaring unemployment, hunger, domestic violence, and suicide. The huge scar that remains in the heart of Beirut is a symbol of our deep suffering: Will we ever see hope dawn again?
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Launched in 1996, SAT-7 (/www.sat7uk.org) — with its international headquarters in Cyprus — broadcasts Christian and educational satellite television programs to more than 30 million people in the Middle East and North Africa. Its mission is to make the gospel available to everyone and support the church in its life, work, and witness for Jesus Christ. SAT-7 broadcasts 24/7 in Arabic, Farsi (Persian), and Turkish, using multiple satellite channels and online services.
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Source: In Christ Communications, ‘God Has Not Deserted Us’: A Voice of Hope In Beirut’s Carnage