Tearfund helps in Beirut

Marilyn Appleby 

beirut"I was on the phone to my wife when I felt the ground shake like an earthquake. Then – BAM! – there was a massive explosion," says Jaime Abraham, who works in Tearfund’s Middle East team and was in Beirut at the time of the explosion on Tuesday.

"Before I could even speak to my wife, the shockwave nearly pushed me out of my chair. My first thought was that it was a bomb, but when I ran outside to look all I could see was this massive plume of orange smoke. It looked more like a volcano erupted, so I thought it must be something else. I immediately ran to check on our neighbours. Many of them had their windows and doors blown out, so I knew it was huge."

Around 1·5 million refugees call Lebanon home, many of them living in makeshift housing in Beirut’s slums. Tearfund and our partners have been providing trauma counselling for people who fled the conflict in Syria. It is this kind of work that is likely to be even more important in the coming weeks and months.

"This is just heart-breaking," continues Jaime. ‘People living in Lebanon have already been through so much, and much of the infrastructure was already hanging on by a thread with the pressure of coronavirus. Some of the key hospitals were in the vicinity of the blast and are damaged. They were already stretched… and now with thousands upon thousands injured they cannot cope."

tearfund2Today we are looking at the work of Tearfund, one of our Mission Partners, and the above account illustrates how one disaster can come immediately after another, calling for urgent action and funds.

Please pray specifically for the people of Beirut, and if you are able, support Tearfund after this devastating explosion.