For the past three and a half years our family has been living in the city of Beirut, and working with marginalized people groups in different parts of the country of Lebanon. Whilst the news about countries in the Middle East do not paint a hopeful picture for people in this part of the world, our hearts fill up with excitement to see the different ways God is leveraging the skills of IDEAS personnel in partnership with local groups to help restore hope to the people of this region.
From high school and grade school teachers and leaders in higher education, to community development specialists, God is utilizing these abilities to open up opportunities for people from different ethnic and religious backgrounds to experience a new kind of community.
Refugees and other underserved people in Lebanon are finding peace, support, acceptance, and care. Through different community development initiatives, IDEAS Associates and our in-country partners engage people to help address their social, intellectual, physical and spiritual challenges. Skills training, language lessons, relocation logistics, one-on-one discussions and other basic services are included. In addition, these service projects are providing opportunities to develop significant connection and relationships.
Education and scholastic achievement is of high value for Lebanese families. Many families sacrifice both parents working, sometimes long shifts, in order to have their students attend private schools in Lebanon. A good number of students live in single-parent households as fathers travel outside of Lebanon for higher paying jobs to afford school tuition and other educational costs.
It is in private school settings that other IDEAS professionals use their skills as educational experts. Associates work in these environments to not only help students in their intellectual development and attain educational goals, but to also grow in character, integrity and respect for other students and their families.
In a variety of ways, IDEAS Associates are being the Body at work in the middle of communities and countries that are yearning to have tangible needs met while hearing that they are loved, valued and created with a purpose. More than ever before, doors are opening in this region, and in the middle of war, destruction, disorder, and confusion, it’s thrilling to see peoples’ lives being transformed by true and lasting hope.
Want to know more about IDEAS' work in Lebanon? Check out: https://www.ideasworld.org/blog/life-in-lebanon
About the author: David is the IDEAS Project Operations Director for Lebanon. He and his family live in Beirut where they participate in community development initiatives with refugees and other marginalized populations.