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World News

“God turned this blast into salvation”: Beirut pastor reflects on the explosion that rocked Lebanon

by Kelly Valencia

Four months after the deadly blast that rocked Lebanon’s capital, Beirut pastor of ‘Life Centre’, Said Dib has told Premier he believes God has turned the blast “into salvation”.

On 4th August, a huge explosion in the port of Beirut killed 200 people and left 5,000 injured as well as many buildings completely destroyed.

Among the damaged buildings was Pastor’s Dib Life Centre, located only a 20 minute-drive from the port.

After the explosion, Pastor Dib thought it was the end of his ministry in Lebanon.

“The blast happened in the Christian area and where you have lots of churches and lots of hospitals and schools, everything was demolished.

“Our thinking was that this is the end of us. This is the end of the ministry. I think when our 4,000 square meters, Life Centre church was totally destroyed, I thought, maybe God wants me to leave Lebanon and go elsewhere.”

Since the blast, Pastor Dib and the church team have been able to rebuild the Life Centre church thanks to donations that arrived from all around the world.

“People came to us and we didn't have a penny to help them. I said: ‘Leave your name and phone number here and let us see how God provides’.  When we started praying and money started coming, we started calling them.

“God is working here. This is the church in action. This is the church in the mission. This is showing the love of Christ embodied in the church. I was really grateful that God turned this blast and this disaster into salvation and to into bringing peace.”

Pastor Dib and team have also seen a considerable increase in interest in the Christian faith as a result of their food parcel ministry. Right now, the Life Centre Church is most in need of teachers and preachers given the volume of people asking for discipleship.

“When they came to receive their food parcels, I asked them three questions. ‘Do you like us to visit you at home? Do you like us pray for you? Do you like to join one of our discipleship groups?’ Muslims and Christians everybody said ‘Yes, please come and visit us’. 100 per cent said they would like us to pray.

“And the third question: ‘Do you like to join our Bible study?’ 65 per cent said ‘Yes, we'd love to’. But I don't have enough leaders to lead all these groups.“

Reflecting on 2020, Pastor Dib believes there is a revival underway in spite of the hardship brought about by the blast and covid-19 pandemic.

“It was the worst year ever I've experienced, yet at the same time, it was the best year for harvest I ever experienced. The mercies of the Lord are new every morning because of his faithfulness and his love. We didn't perish.”

Lebanon is currently facing its biggest political and economic emergency in decades. Pastor Dib wants to encourage Christians to pray for the country.

“Please pray for the government to be formed. Pray for peace because there are lots of rumours about war coming to Lebanon. [Thirdly], we need people who fear God to come. Pray for us [for] boldness to preach the gospel.”

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