MEETING NEEDS AFTER THE BEIRUT BLAST
The explosion at the Port of Beirut last week has been described as Lebanon’s 9/11. All of us in the city can recall the exact place we were standing when it happened. Many of our migrant domestic workers (MDW) were at home or work. Many of them experienced windows blown out and walked away with minor injuries. Some have had all of their belongings buried in the rubble.
We are grateful that the Insaaf Director, Sarah Chetti, and Assistant Director, Elma Khoury, were not at the Center at the time of the explosion. The windows of the Center were blown out by the blast, being four kilometers away. Our partner church, Resurrection Church Beirut, sent a team to help clean up the damage.
Insaaf immediately responded to this crisis by helping injured migrant domestic workers by taking them to various clinics to treat their injuries. We are also in touch with our migrant churches to see how we can serve their congregations. Additionally, we’re grateful for our partner ministry, MERATH, for providing around 200 meals a day for INSAAF to distribute to the migrant domestic workers.
REPATRIATION OF DIALYSIS PATIENT – CHERYL GUIMTAN
Cheryl is an MDW (Migrant Domestic Worker) from the Philippines. About 8 months ago, she came to the Insaaf center seeking medical help. The doctor at the Resurrection Church Beirut’s clinic diagnosed her with end-stage kidney failure. Knowing that she would die soon, we talked with the Philippine Embassy, which allowed us to admit her into a hospital.
Sarah and Elma were with her the whole time until she was done with all medical examinations. The doctors at the hospital also had no hope, and she was immediately put on dialysis. The hospital where Cheryl was admitted also requested that Insaaf bring the blood donors. The donors had to be either Lebanese or Westerns, no Asian or African donors.
This was quite a challenge for us, but Insaaf contacted friends, the Lebanese Red Cross, and the American University of Beirut youth wing. For the past eight months that Cheryl was in the hospital, Insaaf was able to find young Lebanese volunteers to donate blood for Cheryl.
Last month Cheryl was repatriated back to her family in the Philippines, along with 400 other Filipina MDWs. She returned home safely and is receiving treatment at home. We are grateful to be used by God in Cheryl’s life!
JUNE CONSULTATION WITH AN EU DELEGATION CONCERNING MIGRANT WORKERS
Sarah was invited to join members of NGOs from Lebanon to meet a delegation from the European Union, to discuss the condition of migrant domestic workers in Lebanon. In particular, they discussed how the Lebanese Government can be urged to remove the onerous and discriminatory system of ‘bondage’ called the ‘kafala system’ in Lebanon.
We praise God for the many ways INSAAF is partnering with international organizations and local NGOs to work together towards justice for our workers living on the margins of society in Lebanon.
MINISTRY IN A PANDEMIC
Even before the explosion, Insaaf has been on the frontlines meeting the needs of MDW (migrant domestic workers). They have been suffering from the ongoing economic crisis. Many workers have not received their salaries, and Lebanese employers have been dumping their maids in front of their embassies to rid themselves of the responsibility to care for them.
Insaaf has made numerous home visits during the COVID lockdown and has supplied over 250 food parcels to individuals and families. Insaaf has also been able to aid over 100 MDWs with medical help. All the MDWs who came for food and medical aid were prayed over, and we shared God’s message with each one of them.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!
During these unprecedented times of economic crisis, pandemic, and explosions, your generous financial gifts and prayer support helps us meet the needs of the most forgotten in Lebanese society – migrant domestic workers from 15 different countries in Asia and Africa. Your gifts are used to stand in solidarity with their struggles and pain while affirming that Jesus loves them and embraces them in their worry and pain.
INSAAF Justice and Compassion, directed by International Ministries (IM) global servant Sarah Chetti, is one of the few organizations in Lebanon serving migrant domestic workers.
During the recent explosion in Beiruit, the center has undergone severe damage. Your gifts for this project will help repair and restore the center and allow us to continue serving these women. Chetti’s colleagues described shards of broken glass flying through the air, and the metal frames of doors being ripped from their hinges.