Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. (Isaiah 40:1)
Holy God, ever present,
our hearts are once again heavy
as we watch the disaster in Beirut unfold.
We pray comfort for those who have lost loved ones
and remember those who have lost their lives,
commending their souls to your care.
In the midst of this tragedy,
we are mindful of those who are injured
and of the many who are ill,
and of communities that are already struggling
to address the many needs that are present.
We pray for relief in these days of suffering,
may our lives and our resources be a source of assistance, love and care.
Be present with all who mourn today,
grant peace and renewed hope.
Comfort, O comfort your people we pray.
(from Global Ministries USA)
On Tuesday, August 4, 2020, massive explosions rocked Beirut, set off by a fire near a facility that has for several years held highly combustible chemicals at the Port of Beirut. The explosions were felt as far away as the island nation of Cyprus, just across the Mediterranean waters. The numbers of fatalities and injured continue to rise, even as thousands became homeless.
The country of Lebanon has been experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases in the past few weeks so the health care system is already heavily stressed; and now it is simply overwhelmed with the victims of this explosion. In addition, many people are missing or unaccounted for. Yesterday’s disaster was simply devastating in a country that continues to experience the Coronavirus pandemic, a severe economic and financial crisis, distrust in government, and is attempting to provide for a refugee population from the decade-long war in Syria next door.