*Names changed for confidentiality
Ramona* joined the Kurdish women group of Bible Study for the first time in seven months with her mother and two sisters. Since that day, Ramona became one of the committed attendees.
Ramona's husband works in an agricultural field for a minimum wage that can barely cover rent. They live with their in-laws as they all cannot afford rental fees. Heart for Lebanon has been giving Ramona's family a food parcel on a monthly basis, which has a variety of goods that has been sufficient for the whole family.
During a follow-up visit to Ramona's house, she shared her experience with Heart for Lebanon's Team. As she said, "God has changed my life through the Bible Lessons that I attended. I was emotionally lost, distressed, and lonely. Then I started hearing more about God's love and his purpose in my life, since then I started making small changes, began to listen attentively, read the Bible, and obey God's commandments. I was overwhelmed with joy and gratitude, everything seemed different even with my family."
Indeed, Ramona has changed since the first time she came to the Bible sessions, she seems more confident, knowledgeable, peaceful, and happy. Regardless of what Ramona has to face because of her faith, she knows that this is the only way to Jesus and she was confident that in order to change your life you'll have to take that road.
Ramona also mentioned that her change of heart has affected her children too. Now as she's happier and calmer the whole household has noticed the difference as it is all more peaceful. Her communication with her children has changed too, she's more understanding, more communicative and shows them God's love through her actions. Ramona had her husband are thankful for Heart for Lebanon for the holistic approach that has changed their lives in all aspects.
Louis and Rami are Syrian Christian Refugees who were forced to flee from their hometowns as they were called for military services. Their parents stayed in Syria.
For the past year, Rami, who's an electrical engineering graduate student, was working in a grocery store, but due to the pandemic, lockdowns, and the economic situation he lost his job. As for Louis, he works as a security guard where they have given him a room to stay, which is where he and his brother live. They have been going through tough times financially, physically, and emotionally. They miss their parents whom they last saw three years ago. They can't go back to their parents nor their parents can come to Lebanon. Rami attends the Church services on Sundays, he has been experiencing a tremendous change in his life. The Bible Study sessions have helped him overcome his despair as he had shared. "I came to Lebanon with no or little Biblical knowledge. I used to attend church in my hometown without any personal relation to Jesus. I only repeated prayers and followed an order of actions during the mass. However, when I attended the Bible Study here at Heart for Lebanon things changed, my perspective changed. I was walking in the darkness all these years, now I have found hope in Jesus. I'm so excited to learn more about Jesus."
Louis also has a similar testimony. He reads the Bible daily and he wants to play the guitar during worship at Church. He is very talented and wants to use this gift to glorify God.
David's* family has moved three times in the past month due to the expensive rent. They finally settled in a very small apartment but it's in very bad condition. The apartment consists of one room with a kitchenette and a bathroom that leaks water.
Back in 2013, David fled the war in Syria with his family when it was unsafe for them to stay. Settling in Lebanon was hard on David's family, with no jobs and limited help, he was able to work cleaning carpets and heaters for people around his neighborhood. David gets little in return because it's not a constant job and it's seasonal. In addition to that David has health problems, he has one kidney as he was forced to remove one a few years back as it got damaged. He also suffers from severe back pain. Despite his health condition, David keeps working hard in order to provide his family with at least their basic needs.
David's wife, Kay*, does not work because she takes care of the children. She is a believer who attends the Bible Study sessions at the Center and a regular attendee with her husband at the Hope Evangelical Church. Heart for Lebanon has been helping David's family by a monthly food portion that as they said has helped them to get through the month especially during these times.
By the end of the visit, Heart for Lebanon's team took some time to pray for David and his family, health, and financial struggles.