A testimonial from Lebanon | “We have become all the same”GO Project
In the midst of all this chaos, Mohamad Ataya, a member of Tyre Church, our local partner in Lebanon, shared his testimonial on the impact of the Beirut explosion:
“We have become all the same, all in need of help, so yes help us.”
As a chemist, I never thought I would be able to answer the question: What would happen when 2.750 tons of ammonium nitrate exploded? The whole world now knows the answer, the Beirut explosion. The facts surrounding the cause of the explosion remain unclear, unlike the impact of the damage which is evident in the city and people. Since the afternoon of August 4 and to this day, we are recovering bodies buried under the rubble. Many families have made the streets adjacent to the port their home, sleeping in front of the port on the street waiting for the bodies of their loved ones.
The impact of the explosion has destroyed a huge portion of Beirut, not only in material damage but also the spirit of the people has become one of desperation. The idea of recovering from the economic and living crisis once again becomes a farfetched dream to the people. In short, the people of Beirut need help, with everything.
A small crew from our Church joined the people to help and support the families that had their homes and shops destroyed. The perspective of our group can be summarized simply as: walking the path of Jesus in the midst of destruction, to be a vessel of recovery and to give new life to the people.
We prepared toy bags for the kids, food portions to the displaced families and hygiene kits to ensure that the COVID-19 pandemic would not take advantage of the current situation and spread even further. Armed with words of prayer, and the Lord’s spirit that lives in us, we set out towards Beirut.
As we approached the area of Gemmayzeh and Mar Mikhael, we left our vehicles behind, carried our shovels, brooms and the support intended to be distributed.
We worked beyond the point of exhaustion, worked looking around us and realizing that we need to work more, give more, and help more.
During our distribution trips in the neighborhoods of the explosion area, I met Hind, a 2 year old girl.
Hind did not have much before the explosion but now had lost everything after it. I have to admit though; her response to a simple teddy bear shattered my heart. Now she has a teddy bear, but what about food, water, clothes, and medicine? We gave this family all we can give, and we are hoping to give more as our Church receives more.
On the way out, we met another Lebanese family; they are the owners of Hind’s building. We greeted them, and moved past them, but my heart made me turn around to them and ask if they need help, and the lady told me this: “We have become all the same, all in need of help, so yes help us.”
To all those reading my words, you can help. You can help more. Let the Way, set by Jesus be the way we help. He gave everything, so given our humanity and weakness I ask that you at least give what “falls off your table.”
About the author
Mohamad Ataya is a member of Tyre Church and a chemistry PhD candidate. He came to Christ on 18 February 2018 after serving 36 months in a Lebanese prison. He spends his time serving at his Church, and leading its discipleship ministry.