Update from Colin & Audrey Gibson

Lebanon.  July 2021

What can we say? Where do we start? What is to become of Lebanon?
This month we thought we could not do better than reproduce (with kind permission) extracts from the English translation of a Lament for Lebanon by Rabih Hasbany.  Rabih, who is Lebanese, works at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary and the lament is based on his reflection of David’s position in the Psalms when he faced difficulties and enemies, looking to God and praising Him.  Circumstances did not change, but David was the one who changed (translation from the original Arabic by Teresa Sfeir).
You can find the full version at
Please pray for mercy and a way forward for Lebanon.

Astray in my homeland, estranged, I cry.
My voice isn’t heard by those passing by,
Children have lost their brighter tomorrow.
Young ones have no more visions to follow.
Ill fathers no remedy can they find.
The bellies of newborns remain hollow.
The tankers have no more fuel oil in store.
We turn to candlelight just like before.
Our streets are deserted; their lamps are out.
As a boat in a storm, we’re tossed about.
Shall power thirsty rulers be our aid—
They who have sketched a Lebanon that’s maimed—
They who have tightly shut windows of hope—
And from our money, a fortune they made?
As vapor, joy eludes us once again.
Sorrow, instead, does take over the reins.
Our timid laughs are muted, and we find
No soul in whom we can confide and hide.

Lord, I come to You with so much to speak,
And bitter tears are streaming down my cheek.
We look to You, O mighty One alone.
Our tongues can’t tell of all the works You’ve shown,
And in the wilderness, You’ve been my help.
In trials, I was never on my own.
All power and authority are Thine.
To every plea, Lord, Your ear You incline.
Have mercy on my stubborn people, and
Grant us the grace of salvation at hand.
Away from You, O Lord, peace has no trace.
But in Your arms, we rest in Your embrace.
Involve us in Your new covenant grace,
So that we live with You for all our days.
In our own nation, though we are hard pressed—
There are oppressors and then the oppressed—
How can we ask ourselves “What’s next?”
When You’re the Keeper of Your promises.

Finally, just to say we are fine.  Like most foreigners, we are much less affected than the Lebanese people by the difficulties here.

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