“We are so grateful to your supporters in America. Without them, our situation would be much darker and with them we have rays of hope. Tell them how much we appreciate them.” —Georges Assaf, Co-Director of our Friends of Lebanon project in Beirut, Lebanon, where he lives and works.
Lebanon Report: A Special Thank You
February 14, 2022
I am writing to thank you for your generosity in helping our friends in Lebanon by supporting the “Friends of Lebanon” project. Because of your support, dozens of families have received the “short-term help” that has allowed them to envision a future for themselves in their ancient homeland.
We just finished preparing a video to show you the work that we have been doing in Lebanon. This video (at the bottom of this letter) is called Rays of Hope in Lebanon and it is a depiction of how the young people in Lebanon have risen with your support to meet the challenge of Lebanon’s crisis in the last year and a half.
As you watch this video, please keep in mind that without your support neither the video itself nor the work it shows would have existed. Our gratitude to you is profound and we hope our relationship will continue in the months and years ahead.
As we begin this new year and look towards the end of Winter and the coming of Spring, our thoughts are filled with hope. In Lebanon, the last three years have seen an unimaginable litany of challenges: a popular uprising in October 2019, a pandemic, the resignations of two presidents, a historically unprecedented political, economic, and financial crisis that crippled Lebanese society, a continued refugee crisis due to the conflict in neighboring Syria, and, perhaps most tragically, the massive blast at the port of Beirut in August 2020, which left thousands of casualties and destroyed entire blocks of the city, and for which no government officials have yet faced any criminal charges.
Nevertheless, this new year has brought a sense of new beginnings even to Lebanon. Many Lebanese, both within the country and in the expatriate community worldwide, are hopeful that the national elections on May 15 will mark a new beginning for the land that Pope St. John Paul II once called “a message of peace.”
Due to your financial support, we have worked alongside our partners in Beirut to help in any way we can since the beginning of our Unitas: “Friends of Lebanon” project in 2020. We have provided food boxes for needy families, supported tuition costs of students, and shipped water purifiers to Beirut to ensure that families have continued access to clean water.
The mission of “Friends of Lebanon” continues. Despite hopeful signs, much more needs to be accomplished for the future of the Christian community in Lebanon – and, by extension, the future of the unique Lebanese nation – to be secured. We hope you continue to walk beside us on this journey of hope, a journey in the footsteps of two men who preached in Lebanon: St. John Paul II, and, 2,000 years ago, in Tyre and Sidon, Jesus Christ Himself.
“Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee,” Mark writes in his Gospel (Mark 7:31), so we know that Jesus did preach in what we know today as Lebanon.
P.S. We would be delighted if you would send back any comments about the video.
We will host a bimonthly Friends of Lebanon Meet & Greet on the last Friday of every other month. This event will be held on Zoom. This will give you an opportunity to hear about our latest efforts as well as to speak with those who are on the ground in Lebanon. You can join us on Friday, February 25, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern by registering here.
Please enjoy a complimentary digital edition of Inside the Vatican Magazine by clicking here.
Director, Friends of Lebanon Project
Urbi et Orbi Communications