It’s the Christmas season! And this year too LSESD plans a series of Christmas celebrations for vulnerable girls and boys who are miles away from their home country, Syria.

You can feel the excitement radiating from children’s faces. Lots of laughter, games, worship, smiles and chattering. The extremely difficult lives these children lead mean that the two themes of this year’s events, Why Jesus Came and Jesus Carries Our Pain, are easy for them to relate to.

With ample volunteers to help, each child has a memorable experience. And because LSESD works through the local church, every child is known by name, which makes the event even more personalized.

Each of these events comes to a close with a delicious meal, following which each child leaves with a gift (this year, a game of Monopoly or Scrabble) that not only they can enjoy but that the rest of their family can too. Added to that, each child’s family receives a gift that addresses a basic need. Last year it was a hygiene kit. Prior to that it was food vouchers. This year, however, the gift consists of two double-sized blankets made by Syrian refugee women through an income generation project developed by MERATH’s partner, Tahaddi.

LSESD held 4 Christmas celebrations in November, and plans to run 9 more in December. This year’s events are held in partnership with 12 churches throughout Lebanon; in Beirut, North Lebanon, and the Bekaa Valley. We hope to serve at least 1,100 children in total.

“In every event, I’m surprised by the chuckle of the children, the dazzling looks on their faces and the way they hug their gift to their chest when they receive it,” says Rosette Mansour, Senior Partner Relations Officer at LSESD, who is organizing this year’s celebrations with partner churches. “I always think ‘Will they remember this day the same way I did?’ Even as I’m talking about it right now I get overcome with cheer and delight, I start to feel the good feelings all over again.”

Please pray for these children and their families, that God would use these events to touch their hearts and ease their suffering. As the children were taught, their gifts and excitement will fade, but God’s love for them will never go away.

Caitlin Bylina 

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