News broke on Tuesday, August 4, that a large fire in the Port of Beirut led to a devastating chemical explosion that resulted in extensive damage over much of the capital, along with the deaths of more than 200 people, the injury of 5,000 others and the displacement of some 300,000 people. In the wake of this tragedy, the PCC offers our heartfelt prayer to all those who have died, been injured, or displaced in the disaster, as well as to all the rescue workers who are tirelessly looking for survivors.

Prayer

Gracious and loving God who hovers over the pain of your world
We pray for all who suffer or experience pain through the chemical explosion in Beirut yesterday.
We remember especially this day the people of Beirut.
Help the injured,
protect those in danger,
support the dying,
bring comfort to the grieving
and soothe the anxious whose families and lives are forever changed by grief and loss.
Bless with your strength and comfort those who have survived the trauma and devastation of this disaster.
We ask your blessing on all those who have lost their homes,
their livelihoods, their security and their hope.
Strengthen and guide doctors, nurses, and all those who serve in emergency services
and all who bring comfort and relief.
In the name of Jesus we pray.
Amen.

Near East School of Theology

The massive chemical explosion in Beirut has affected almost everyone in the city, including our long-standing partner, the Near East School of Theology (NEST). NEST trains 90% of the protestant pastors in the Middle East, keeping alive the faith in the region where Christ was born and taught.

With all eight floors and two basements of the NEST building affected, the glass windows, doors, panels as well as the internal wooden doors were completely shattered. The picture to the right shows the damage caused to the Student Lounge of the NEST building. It has been reported that the NEST community (as far as we can determine) are safe and uninjured.

Employees and workers of the school, along with a number of volunteers, have been working tirelessly since the explosion occurred to try and clean up the debris in the building. However, despite the dedicated efforts of staff and volunteers, extra hired help has had to be brought in to assist with the cleaning process, and the repair work will be financially difficult.

During this worldwide crisis, the devaluation of the Lebanese currency and border restrictions and fear will reduce the number of international students and only further contribute to the seminary’s precarious situation.

In an update from NEST’s President, Dr. George Sabra, he expressed his hope and tremendous gratitude for all of the support NEST has received thus far in response to the crisis:

“Your response to our crisis has been overwhelming. I am truly moved by the expressions of sympathy, concern and support which my office has received in a shower of e-mails. To know that NEST has so many true friends and supporters is a great source of comfort and encouragement.”

“We have hope that we can pull through with God’s help and the support of our network of friends. After all, this institution made it through two World Wars and crises in the region, including a 15-year-old war in Lebanon.”

We can help NEST continue to shine the light of Christ in a troubled world. International Ministries will match your gifts, both large and small, up to $50,000.
Support NEST to recover from this trauma by donating here.

PWS&D Appeal

PWS&D also has partners on the ground through ACT Alliance and Canadian Foodgrains Bank, who are actively assessing the situation to determine how best to respond. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

To make a donation to support PWS&D’s response to the Beirut explosion, please click here .