Beirut Workshop

Our vision at Jubilee Community Church is to see more people, more like Jesus in our neighbourhood, the nation and the nations. Within our church we have links with the charity SeedFund, which is a charity that supports start-ups to help poor communities and there is an opportunity to support a workshop to rebuild Beirut. Read the below blog to find out more:

Tue August 4th at 6 pm there is a loud noise in the sky.

Joy Basta living in Beirut, looks up to the sky thinking it’s a thunderstorm, but the sky is blue. He realises that something is wrong, very wrong so he runs to protect his family. Just nine minutes later a second explosion caused by 2,750 tonnes of exploding ammonium nitrate sent a supersonic shockwave from the port of Beirut, that devastated the city, shattered buildings, injured over 6000 and left an estimated 300,000 people homeless. The explosion was so powerful that people in Cyprus, 150 miles away thought it was an earthquake.

Magdi Basta, Joy’s father, is the pastor of Holy Spirit (evangelical) Church in Beirut, just 15 minute’s drive east of the port. The church has a warehouse that is two floors (14m) underground, the steel door (7m high) of which was pushed out by the shockwave.

The Holy Spirit church sprang into action quickly. The day after the blast they made 650 chicken sandwiches to give away. They are coordinating food distribution daily from their warehouse and whilst giving out the food to needy families, Magdi saw that many needed help to rebuild their damaged homes.

With over 15 years experience as a contractor, Magdi saw an immediate need to help people rebuild their broken homes before winter (October).  With his son Joy, they plan to turn part of their warehouse into a workshop with tools and equipment to help tradesmen build and repair windows, doors and furniture.

In discussions with SeedFund, an opportunity arose to start a business by equipping the workshop with tools. This would help to meet immediate Beirut rebuilding needs as well as help build an orphanage one-hour south. It would provide employment for skilled tradespeople and allow the training of apprentices in an area of high youth unemployment. The aim is to make it a self-sustaining business.

According to the Economist, Lebanon has been trapped in a debilitating economic crisis, with the poverty rate expected to rise to more than 75% by the end of this year and many businesses have gone bust. It would seem a strange time to start a business, yet two months ago, Joy Basta felt a prompt to start a carpentry workshop business and now the dire circumstances of Beirut have turned his dream into an urgent need.

SeedFund are seeking to raise up to £18,000 to buy the equipment and tools to create this workshop in the heart of Beirut, with a desire to rebuild the city. Martyn Dunsford, founder of SeedFund says ‘Our family have travelled with Magdi, Grace and Joy and seen their amazing work up close.  They have a real love for the people of Beirut as well as working with refugees. It is a privilege for SeedFund to support a business to help rebuild a city’.

If you would like to give towards this vision through SeedFund please go to our donate page and to keep updated with the project click here. All money raised will go towards rebuilding Beirut by establishing this workshop.