Beirut and the Children of the World | Joe Knittig, CEOGO Project
Please watch this:
This explosion happened at the port of Lebanon in Beirut. Hundreds died and thousands are wounded. What you might not glean from reporting is that the country’s main grain storage silos, storing 85% of the country’s grain, were destroyed.
Lebanon as a nation was facing rapid implosion, with the government failing, the economy failing, banks failing, hyper-inflation steamrolling, and the availability and cost of food staples and life essentials soaring out of reach for the small middle class, far out of reach for the poor, and so distant for the 1.5 million plus Syrian refugees in the tiny country that the faint light of hope has faded into complete darkness. Then, on top of that came COVID-19 and the related shutdown of the global economy, plunging the poor and the most vulnerable children into such desperation that some Syrian refugees have been trying to escape Lebanon to go back to Syria. Businesses shut down. Unemployment (for the few fortunate enough to have jobs) skyrocketed. Many charities and ministries serving the poor shut down, as fear in the world increased and global giving decreased. Then, amidst this unimaginable pressure… Boom! An explosion kills, maims, destroys a beautiful city, and takes out the nation’s grain storage – at the worst possible time.
Some of you have gone with us to Lebanon. Our home base for our Middle East work is in Tyre, just south of Beirut. Our team and church partners are okay. In fact, just like our team and church partners around the world, they have been serving the most vulnerable children and families throughout this crisis and stand ready – eager – to do more. If not now, when?
This explosion is a wake-up call for the Church to take radical action to care for our world’s most vulnerable children. This is about more than Beirut. If we could see an image of what the COVID-19 shutdown of the global economy has done to the poorest families and children in the world, not just in the United States, it would look and feel like the explosion in Beirut.
Global hunger among the poor, among the poorest and most vulnerable children, is up big time. That we cannot see it in our day-to-day lives, that it is slowly by slowly strangling children in a way that we cannot readily see, doesn’t mean it’s not happening. It is happening. Like a violent explosion.
This is a defining moment in history. The Church is uniquely positioned to meet this moment. Since the stoning of Stephen, the Lord has created and readied the greatest grassroots care distribution network on the planet. The Church is in expensive buildings in shiny cities, under humble trees in dirt villages, within the hearts of billions of people of every tribe, tongue, and nation, called to give our lives away in the service of others, particularly the poor, powerfully to the widow and orphan.
We are a small ministry compared to some others, but our little ministry gets to serve in the power of a huge Jesus. We get to serve grassroots local churches in, of, and by the people among the poor, in some of the most pressure-packed places on earth. To spark the hope in such places and all over the world doesn’t require a big show in high places. It requires a match lit by faith and sacrificial love in the low places of pressure, among the poor. And another explosion – one of life – shall come forth from one spark.
We must live by faith, not sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7.
We must meet this moment.
In faith, we are going to dramatically increase our support to our church partners all over the world – in Haiti, Lebanon, Uganda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Congo, India – to help with food security of the most vulnerable children and families in the most pressure packed, unseen spaces.
In faith, our goal is to support more than 10,000 children with basic food security – with emergency food and farming support – for the next year. If we can do immeasurably more, we shall. Eph. 3:20.
In faith, we are staying on offense.
You have always been with us when it’s time to take bold action in faith, generous investors in the amazing children that we get to serve, the children who are changing our lives and can change and bring unity to this divided world.
May this blast in Beirut be a wake-up call, the moment when the Church all around the world awakens to the plight of the poor and the need for an explosion of life in the pressure.
May this be the moment that the Church writes her greatest sermon in history.
We will be communicating with you further on this opportunity. Stay tuned…
Watch this special update from Pastor Mohammad Yamout, Chairman of the Board, GO MENA: