Hope Among The Ruins

Though prospects for peace in Lebanon seem to be improving, instability remains. And rebuilding the war-torn country is no small order after a 17-year civil war that has left churches gutted and roofless, sent unemployment to between 60 and 80 percent, and cost over 50,000 lives.

But one body that can and may assume a significant part of that task is a needy, faithful, and unified Lebanese church. So says a group of 12 officials representing evangelical churches, seminaries, and mission and relief agencies that visited Beirut last month. The delegation included Tom Getman (World Vision), Ray Bakke (International Urban Associates), Bill Taylor (Young Life), Robert Douglas (Zwemer Institute of Muslim Studies), and Landrum Bolling and Herman Boonstra of Open Doors.

“Our hearts were both broken by the hurt and filled with hope by the resilience and faith of most Christians from a postconflict, more unified church,” Getman said. “In the bomb shelters, denominational and theological barriers among Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and Maronite churches, some over 1,000 years old, were diminished.”

One factor that has hurt church relief-and-development projects there has been a “de-linkage” of denominational support. Getman said churches in Beirut are not looking for an outpouring of “huge amounts of money” but rather hope to re-establish partnership with groups in the West for development, evangelistic, and church rebuilding projects.

People And Events

Briefly Noted

Arrested: A suspect for the September 21 slaying of a Protestant radio preacher and two others at a Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC) radio station in the Philippines (CT, Oct. 26, 1992, p. 77). ...

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