The environment in Lebanon has been very difficult the last few months, especially for refugees, migrant workers, and other people dependent on the UN or the Lebanese government for support. Lebanon is in the middle of country-wide protests against government corruption. We are hopeful that eventually some good changes will take root, but for now, things are very uncertain. Usually protests are peaceful, but government response has come across as insufficient and tokenizing resulting in escalated tension between demonstrators. Thank you everyone who has kept us in your prayers. Overall, most of my friends and I have stayed safe despite taking part in the almost daily protests. Also, community members stepped up to support refugees during the winter season to mitigate a decrease in UN services. Last week, we had over 50 people stop by the community center I volunteer with to pick up warm winter clothes.

     On the church front, I enjoyed connecting with a minister supported by the UCC who is also based here in Beirut. He is very passionate about youth ministry and mentorship and I am optimistic that we will be able to work together further in the future. This week, I made it back to the States via Cairo for the start of a short visit. I’ll be presenting a workshop in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on January 4 for LGBT+ Christians, and coming back to Texas and visiting Faith UCC January 12. Looking forward to seeing you all soon!

(Abigail will share her experiences in an extended Mission Moment on Sunday, January 12.)