[Photo Courtesy of the Middle East and North African Union]

General Conference

Hope Channel Recording Saved A Young Couple from Beirut Explosions

Nothing went according to plan for Roni and Elza that day.

Beirut, Lebanon | Jean Jack Kareh, assistant coordinator for Media Ministries

Roni and Elza Haddad have been happily married for 15 months. Both are teachers at Boucherieh Adventist Secondary School in Beirut, Lebanon. They both have a passion to reach out to their community and help spread the Good News.

Hope Channel Middle East and North Africa (HC MENA) has been reaching out to the younger generation in this region through digital media. One project that was initiated recently on YouTube introduces this audience to the Adventist Church’s 28 fundamental beliefs. Roni and Elza are the perfect candidates for this program because they both have the knowledge, energy, and millennial techniques to do the job.

On August 4, the Haddads planned to record their program in the morning at the HC MENA studio, to be finished in a 2-hour session like usual. Due to a scheduling conflict for studio staff, however, the recording was postponed till 3:30 p.m. And for some reason, their typical 2-hour recording session took much longer than usual.

The young couple patiently tried several recordings to provide their best shots for the program, although they knew they would miss their daily 6 o’clock routine at home: sitting together next to the big window where they could see a lovely view of the city of Beirut.

They couldn’t understand why the recording was not going smoothly like other days! Suddenly, they experienced a strange power outage in the studio and the building shook terribly. Elza asked if it was an earthquake and Roni assured her it was.

That was before the second huge blast and the entire team had to stop the recording and run out of the studio.

When the couple returned home they understood why the recording was delayed. God had intervened to keep them from their usual 6 o’clock routine at home. The place where they usually sat to view the city was now covered with shattered glass as a result of the explosion and shock wave.

The HC MENA Studio also suffered some damages although it is more than 5 kilometers away from the epicenter.

The Haddads witnessed a miracle in disguise that afternoon and they praise God for His protection. “We truly experienced what is said in Deuteronomy 10:21,” says Roni. “He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.”

Beirut suffered a terrible tragedy after a huge ammonium nitrate blast (still under investigation) hit its capital port on August 4. The death toll is currently at 135, with thousands injured and more missing.

Boucherieh Adventist Secondary School in Beirut where Roni and Elza teach was damaged as well.

Your prayer support is greatly appreciated for the Church and the institutions that have been affected by the crisis in Lebanon and the explosion.

More information about the blast is found here: https://adventist.news/en/news/church-reaches-out-after-beirut-explosion