Flyer Corona emergency aid Lebanon and Syria 2020
In October, a team from “Himmelsperlen International” set off for the fifth time on a mission to provide medical care for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. As always, they were under the leadership of Margret Meier, retired pastor, founder of “Himmelsperlen International” and the organizer of this mission.
This mission was initially overshadowed by demonstrations in Beirut and also in Zahlé there were many roadblocks, making the drive from the airport difficult. The protesters were expressing their displeasure at the government’s mismanagement of the country. Vehicles parked sideways blocked the streets, tires were burning, soldiers had built barbed wire barriers and tanks were standing at several road junctions. We prayed in the cars. Suddenly “two angels” with red cars came to pilot us to through the city and suddenly we were on the outskirts of Beirut.
Our outreach was based in a Christian church in the city of Zahlé on the Bekaa plain, not far from the border with Syria. Together with employees of the “True Vine Church”, our team was able to care for 600 outpatients during the course of the week. Many came with mild, acute illnesses, some suffered from chronic diseases or were marked by war, flight or other terrifying experiences. The traumatized patients were treated and greatly helped by our trauma therapist. Some were happy to take advantage of personal prayer.
Our dentist and his assistant had a large number of patients. Many teeth could be repaired or extracted. Patients with inflamed gums or worse conditions were delighted that the source of their pain was removed.
Rescuing a four-week old baby
A four-week-old baby girl was brought to the pediatrician with very severe malnutrition. She was completely dehydrated and was desperately looking for milk. We immediately took him to a local hospital for treatment. Our association “Himmelsperlen International” covered the cost of the treatment. The baby was placed in an incubator, fed artificially, and was saved by a blood transfusion. Further nutrition from powdered food and clean water was organized because the mother was seriously ill herself and could not breastfeed her 5th child. The mother was very relieved to see her baby looking well again and that a source of nutrition was secured for the future.
The team brought some of the necessary medication with them but here, as in Germany, the doctors could also prescribe whatever was needed. The patients picked up their medication at a nearby pharmacy. Treatment and medication had to be free of charge for the patients because these people are completely destitute. “Himmelsperlen International” paid € 10,000 for medical care. All the volunteers taking part in the relief effort financed their own travel and worked free of charge.
Himmelsperlen International are determined to provide long-term medical support
As far as possible, the chronically ill will continue to receive care. Follow-up treatments are organized and financed. As a result of previous missions, orthopedic operations, cardiological interventions and a bowel operation have been successfully carried out.
At the beginning of our outreach, the parents of a four-year-old girl with severe heart disease who at the time was being treated in a local hospital, asked for our support. The daughter’s doctor’s letter showed that she needed an urgent operation. We organized the necessary open-heart surgery in Beirut. But unfortunately, the help came too late. The child died the night before the scheduled visit to the cardiac surgeon. Here it became clear to us that the possibilities in this country are limited. This is especially true if the parents cannot contribution financially to the treatment. The death of the small child affected us greatly. We supported the family by paying the funeral expenses. Members of the parish took care of the grieving parents and relatives.
After this mission we undertook responsibility for the further treatment for 30 patients, we cannot and do not want to abandon them after their diagnosis.
This is our understanding of our ministry we will not forget people who have been entrusted to us.
The tents and primitive buildings made available to accommodate Syrian refugees are also depressing. Many people have been there for years and have no perspective for the future.
Lebanon has been hit hard by the weakened economy. Corruption and mismanagement have left their mark. The situation in the country is developing dramatically. As a result, we ask you to stand in prayer for Lebanon. There are still more than 1.2 million Syrian refugees in a country with a population of around 6 million.
Everyone who participates in our missions is investing not just time and money, but heartfelt love. Their efforts have shown the refugees that they are important and valuable to us. The gratitude of the Syrians is enormous and clear for all to see.
“What you did to one of these least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me!” Math. 25,40
Children’s camp in Pakistan
Days full of encouragement for 250 children
Bitter poverty despite hard work and no hope for the future. This is the life of Pakistani Christians working in the brick factories in the state of Punjab.
Many are illiterate which means that their children will also go through life without ever being able to read or write. Now, due to the School of Grace, many have the chance to get a qualification and as a result to make a career for themselves.
At the beginning of 2017, Margret Meier founded the School of Grace outside Lahore. There are now 250 brick-workers’ children attending the school and getting a better foundation for their future. In the autumn we organized a children’s camp for these children to bring them good news, fun and joy and get them away from the monotony of their dreary, everyday life.
With Margret Meier as leader a group of 15 volunteers flew to Lahore. Their aim was to
– get to know the living conditions of the children and their parents in the brick factories
– see and experience the School of Grace
– organize a children’s camp for all students of the School of Grace. It should bring them joy, give them hope and convey the message: I am a unique person in this world and a beloved child of God.
The week’s program was very inspiring. It offered a new perspective to people who live in abject poverty. While there, we realized how important education is for a decent quality of life. In the school, the team from Germany encountered committed Pakistani teachers and children who wanted to learn. But unless things change, these children have no chance of an adequate education. Many of them will probably continue working in the brick factories as adults, like their parents. The wheel of poverty will just keep turning.
Every day in the camp began with rousing Pakistani music
280 Children and adults sang enthusiastically accompanied by some very energetic actions.
Armin Knothe told Bible stories using a variety of visual aids and sketches that the children themselves could get involved in. Aurangzeb Ghauri, the school director, translated everything from English into Urdu, the main language in Pakistan. Together with our Pakistani translators we divided into small groups. The workshops were incredibly creative. Hand puppets, buzzing bees, paper-
airplanes, belts and bags were made. We spun plates and painted works of art. There was plenty of laughter as we played with balls, cards or swung flags. Many good relationships developed out of our time together.
We prayed with and for each other and were convinced that the children had understood our message: I am a valued and loved child of God, whose Son Jesus lived here on earth and is still here for me. At the end of the camp one of the team asked the children what they had enjoyed the most.
“I liked the story of Noah and Jairus,” Adisba said. “I was so happy to be Bartimaus,” Nouman added, his eyes shining. Boeez found all the workshops good, Manahil was glad that there had been enough rice for lunch, Sheyan was proud of her painting. “Next year I´m coming to kids camp again,” said Sana, as she hugged me and said goodbye.