AN APPEAL launched by the Archbishop of Jerusalem to help those hit by the Beirut explosion last month is ‘making a difference.’
The Most Revd Bishop Suheil Dawani made the call for donations through the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (AFEDJ) and now Archdeacon Imad Zoorab, vicar of All Saints Episcopal Church located just a mile from the blast, said: “Amid all the suffering our beloved Lebanon is facing on the economic level, the crisis of the port explosion has made it worse with many homeless and without any roof over their heads.
“Our church is part of this devastated society, with those in both the Arabic- and English-speaking congregations having suffered physically, financially, and psychologically. Thank God no one among our church family was made homeless. Those with damage to their homes were able to cope and stay in the undamaged part of their houses.”
Following the blast, more than 300,000 residents of Beirut were left homeless while it affected more than 778,000 people within a two-mile radius.
According to Fr Imad, homeless families are living in shelters provided by various United Nations’ agencies, the Lebanese Red Crescent/Cross, or staying with friends and families who have offered their houses to receive homeless families.
In the days since the explosion, Fr Imad and leaders of the two All Saints congregations have worked to ensure the well-being and safety of members of the church community. They are now turning their attention to partnering with other churches to meet the needs of their most vulnerable neighbours affected by the blast.
Funds donated through AFEDJ are being used to obtain much-needed food packets, hygiene kits, and PPE for distribution through All Saints and its partner churches to people across Beirut.
He wrote: “As a vicar and pastor of All Saints, I’m thankful for God’s grace and mercies, and so grateful for each church, bishop, priest, lay person, and for everyone who has stood by us here in Lebanon through your prayers and your financial support. May God bless each and every one of you for your faithfulness. In all of this, we pray and remember, ‘Yet amid all these things we are more than conquerors and gain a surpassing victory through him who loved us’.”