Journey to Lebanon:‘They Feel Hopeless, They Feel Forgotten’

The remarkable video above comes to us from the CNEWA team traveling to Lebanon with our chair, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, and offers a powerful look at what so many in that corner of the world are living with — and how CNEWA is seeking to lift them up from despair to hope.

CNEWA’s Michael J.L. LaCivita passed along more pictures and this brief dispatch:

Imagine one night, at dinner, you receive a phone call that you have five minutes to take your family and gather some clothes and flee. For thousands of families in northern Iraq, this is precisely what happened on 6 August 2014.

The next day, their villages fell to ISIS. And while this band of nihilists and criminals has been defeated since, the nightmare for these families remains reality.

Many now live in exile and poverty — in Beirut and Amman and further afield. In some cases, the only help they receive is from the church and organizations such as CNEWA.

Today, our delegation encountered the fear and the desperation these parents feel, as they desperately want to come to America and Canada.

They do not understand why we have closed our arms to them.

“We try to prevent them from falling into despair,” said Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignatius Joseph III, “but we must rely on the generosity of others.”

Lebanese President Michel Aoun, who received us this morning thanked the cardinal, the delegation and CNEWA for our many years in Lebanon, and our work here, “especially during the darkest years,” during the last years of the civil war.

Pray for the Middle East. Pray for Lebanon. Resources are low. And time is running out.

Late yesterday, we also received this video, which shows the exceptional faith and charity of the Melkite Catholics in Zahleh, Lebanon. Check it out.


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