Lebanon may be short on money, but it’s full of problems. An estimated 900,000 to 1.5 million Syrian refugees strain resources and infrastructure. Forced deportations, ongoing since April, send refugees back to Syria whether they want to leave or not.
Political leaders blame the refugees for many of Lebanon’s problems, especially the financial ones. The national debt is more than 150% of Lebanon’s economic output, or GDP. Yesterday, experts forecast another decline; the International Monetary Fund projects Lebanon’s public debt burden will rise to 180% of GDP by 2023.
Yet, hope remains. Heart for Lebanon’s Tom Atema says Syrian refugees are coming to Christ in droves.
“They’re exploding exponentially. They’re sharing their faith. They’re winning other Syrian Muslims to Jesus Christ.”
Heart for Lebanon helps these new believers become disciple makers. “We have around 600 people in our Bible studies each month [and] we’re running about 300 in our worship services each week, plus Sunday schools,” Atema says.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth