Back to School in Bekaa Valley

Syrian boys in refugee a camp in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

BEKAA VALLEY, LEBANON – Thanks to supporters, 50 Syrian refugee children will go back to school in October.

The first phase of funding for a tent school in a refugee camp in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon has been supplied by supporters of Tent Schools International.

That’s 50 more children who are…

  • Returning to their studies after years of interrupted learning
  • Getting to know Jesus through Bible stories, devotions and Christian teachers
  • Less likely to be recruited by the terrorist groups that are targeting the camps

The last point is no exaggeration: terrorist groups are actively recruiting young people in the Bekaa Valley region.

Francisco Martin Rayo, a researcher with the Belfer Center’s Dubai Initiative writes, “Access to a well-rounded education is a powerful enough factor on its own to significantly reduce radicalization and terrorist recruitment” in the refugee camp environment.

What a hope-filled month this has been for the refugee children in Bekaa Valley. Yet the urgency surrounding this tent school remains. We are appealing to anyone who has not yet joined us to take action and help finish this school! Let’s build on the foundation previous donors and our Lebanese partners have established.

We are grateful to report that supporters like you have ensured that a sturdy tent structure will be raised in Bekaa Valley. Now, as winter approaches, the school needs supplies, heat and rental payments. Teachers who have given generously of their time need compensation to feed their families.

When we observe the refugee crisis, we are compelled in part by Matthew 9:36-37:

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A typical tent school structure in Lebanon

“When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few, therefore, pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’” 

I believe that among the “crowds” Jesus sees today are the refugees of the Bekaa Valley. I believe the Lord of the harvest is calling all of us to be laborers. Please join us in bringing these 50 children to know Him in a safe, encouraging oasis of hope called a tent school.

Make this appeal your time to say, “Yes!”

Dale Dieleman, Vice President, Tent Schools International

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