John Pontifex, Head of Press and Information at ACN, writes:
‘On behalf of everyone at Aid to the Church in Need, I would like to thank all the members of The Military and Hospitaller Order of St Lazarus of Jerusalem and the Trustees of The St Lazarus Charitable Trust for your most generous donation of £5,000. This will be allocated, as requested, to support the Christian community in Beirut following the recent explosion, which devastated the port area, including one of the Christian quarters.
‘We have strong, trusted links with Lebanon and we are in regular touch with our project partners who are organising emergency supplies - food, medicine and blankets - for many of the 300,000 people who are now homeless and with immediate means of supporting themselves.
Your donation is an invaluable gift of practical and spiritual solidarity for a people who have endured so much in recent decades and whose economy has been severely challenged by their charity in absorbing huge numbers of refugees from Syria and parts of Africa.
‘The Church is playing a vital role in reaching out to people who have lost everything and your support means a huge amount to them and to us.
‘Christians in Lebanon have a strong faith and sense of hope. In the words of Sister Hanan Youssef:
“Yes, we will rebuild. I know the resilience of my people. Because we know that this is our fate in this part of the world. Because we are descendants of the Phoenicians. Because in Lebanon, the blessed land, the phoenix always rises from its ashes! Because building is our happiness. Tomorrow, we will rise again as we have always done.”
‘May God bless you all for your loyal support and this expression of your kinship with our brothers and sisters in Christ.'