At least 100 people are dead, thousands injured and buildings destroyed after a massive explosion hit Beirut, Lebanon on August 4. The blast was felt as far away as Cyprus, which is more than 140 miles away, and registered as a 3.3 earthquake in Beirut. Initial reports blame the blast on a fire at a warehouse for firecrackers.
The Middle East and North African Union (MENA) has reported their staff has been accounted for and are safe. However two churches, the Middle East University, two high-schools and a learning center for refugee children suffered damage from the blast
In an email, the president of the Adventist Church in MENA, Rick McEdward, said, "Our hearts go out to the people of Lebanon who have already experienced much hardship over the last few months. We are committed to helping do what we can to bring hope to people during this time of difficulty."
President of the global Seventh-day Adventist Church, Ted N.C. Wilson, also asked for members to remember those in Lebanon in their prayers, “I have prayed for our church members in Lebanon and for the country. It is a tragedy that has happened on top of the many challenges they already face. Having grown up in the Middle East and having lived for some months in Beirut, Lebanon, my heart is heavy for the people of that country and their situation. Please lift up the precious people of Lebanon in prayer that God will help them in time of need and that our church will be able to assist people as Christ did and more readily share Christ, His righteousness, His three angels’ messages, and His soon second coming.”
MENA is still assessing damages to the Church property. More information will come as it is made available.