We have had the privilege of spending time with Mike Bassous, the General Secretary of the Bible Society in Lebanon. Some of you may have met him in January when he visited and spoke at a number of events. He leads a passionate team who are working with refugees hungry for God's Word.

Lebanon - Unexpected Hope
Lebanon Distribution to refugees
Meeting desperate families at their point of need with compassion and the love of God. 

The Bible Society team in Lebanon are supporting refugees whose lives have been shattered. One in four of the Lebanese population are now Syrian refugees. They arrive with no money and are often traumatised and may have been forced to leave friends and family behind.

In this humanitarian crisis where many have lost their lives, those who flee are searching for hope. As they arrive in Lebanon to live in make-shift refugee cities, they are turning to God in huge numbers. 

Those who are already believers are delighted to receive Bibles, their source of comfort. But they are also often the very people who are witnessing to their fellow refugees who do not know Jesus. Many Christians who are fleeing violence in Syria are also fleeing persecution. In Lebanon, they find they can worship and speak of Jesus much more openly. While they have lost much, they have also gained a level of freedom they did not know before.

It is in this confusing, broken and desperate community that the Bible Society has found unprecedented opportunity to share God's Word. The demand is huge and they are battling to keep up. We are so blessed to partner with this work and ask you to continue in prayer for the people of this tumultuous region and all who minister to them.


Not only are the Bible Society working to provide Bibles, but also practical help in the form of 4,500 emergency aid packs each year, bedding and even helping some people with housing issues. In their love and compassion they also offer 'Trauma Healing' programmes to help people of all ages begin to process the horrific ordeals they have suffered. We know that God comes along side the suffering, ministering in their deepest pain to bring healing and hope where there seems to be none.

It is immensely difficult to live as a Christian in many parts of the Middle East. Yet Bible Society staff remain in Syria, they keep ministering at huge risk to themselves. Part of the ministry in the Bible Society of Lebanon is to support teams like this and to reach further, in supporting and encouraging the Christian community to remain as a witness in the darkest of places.
Praying for Lebanon

Pray for Christians all over Middle East, that God would sustain them as they persevere through extreme threat and danger.

Pray for strength for the Middle Eastern Church, for continued understanding, presence, and patience. Pray too for for wisdom and strength for church leaders. 

Pray that each copy of scriptures being distributed will bring joy and encouragement and that  many will take the Bible back to their homes and share the message with others.

Pray for all who minister in the Middle East, whether to refugees who are traumatised or within areas of conflict and persecution. May they have the faith to stand and to trust in God who is their protector.
Week 5: 31 October 2017

'It's time to forgive...'

Yasmine lost her sister during the fighting in Aleppo. She remembers the day... 'I was preparing food and my husband was coming home for lunch together. A bomb dropped. It was so close the whole house shook. Our son Iskandar was on the floor because he was so scared.'

It was the next day that her husband left for Lebanon to look for work and a safe place. 


For 2 months, Yasmine and Iskandar had no water, fuel or food. Finally, her husband got a job and found somewhere to live, he borrowed money and came back to get them.


'The day we left, the bombs never stopped. People said we'd be killed in our car. But we didn't have any other option. It took 22 hours to leave Aleppo.'


They arrived in Lebanon with nothing, exhausted and traumatised with flashbacks about family and friends who had been killed. Iskandar was two and he was crying all the time, they had nothing to give him. Yasmine said 'I spoke to my sister one day, and the next day she was dead.'


Then Yasmine was invited to church by a Christian woman she met. 'I didn't know anything about church or Christianity or Jesus. But we started studying the Bible... I'm so glad I did!'

'Before, we lived in hatred and anger. Now, through the Bible, we have started to learn about love and how love can change you. My favourite verse is Matthew 5.44, which says 'Love your enemies.'

The burden in my heart and soul has gone. I feel at peace. It's time to forgive and forget what happened to us. It's time to forget the sorrow.


'A sister of mine says we should stop going to church as we come from a different faith. But my husband told her, 'Read the Bible and you will see this is about love. Don't say anything until you know what's written in there.'


Jasmine is grateful for the Bible Society supporters - 'I am proud to know Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus has changed our lives. We know the way now. We want to learn more about him. Without Jesus, we are nothing. So if you think you are only helping in a small way, you don't know how much it has given to people like me.'

Bible Society NI, 27 Howard Street, Belfast, BT1 6NB
TEL: 028 9032 6577  -  www.bsni.co.uk
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