It was one of the most horrific events in Lebanon's history. Last summer, a huge explosion at the city's port turned much of downtown to rubble and left more than 200 people dead and thousands injured. That day, a local pastor heeded the voice of the Holy Spirit and it saved many lives. But that was just the beginning of miracles.
"I Felt Something Bad is Going to Happen"
Pastor Said Deeb of Beirut's Life Center Church told us how a strange feeling came over him the day of the explosion. "I was feeling anxious, I don't know what happened to my heart, I was feeling not at ease, I don't know how to explain it, I felt something is going to happen, something bad is going to happen," Deeb explained.
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"As if the Holy Spirit is saying, Go! Go! Go!"
That uneasiness led Pastor Deeb to send his 34 person staff home and cancel Bible classes for more than 200 children. "(It was) as if the Holy Spirit is saying, Go! Go! Go! Go! So I was saying everybody go home, turn off the computers, forcing them to leave, I was forcing them and they said we are cooking, cooking food for the refugees and for the poor and I said today cancel everything put it in the fridge. They were thinking I lost my mind but they didn't know and I didn't know it was the Holy Spirit's prompting," Deeb exclaimed.
Then, shortly after 6 p.m. on August 4, 2020, the unthinkable happened – without warning, a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored at the Beirut port exploded – possibly ignited by a warehouse fire although the exact cause is still under investigation. The shock waves damaged buildings and roads and shattered glass for miles in the densely populated city. When it was over, more than 200 people were dead, upwards of 7,000 injured, and 300,000 homeless.
"And I thought this is the end, this is the end, but the Lord has another plan, He has another plan," Deeb said.
Located only a mile from the epicenter, Pastor Deeb's 4,000 square meter Life Center Church saw great damage. "And now everything I built in 12 years I saw it destroyed on the floor, all the ceilings on the floor, all the lamps, all the paintings, all the doors, doors without frames, glass everywhere..it's horrible...I was crying," Deeb recalled.
The Second Miracle
It also led to desperation for the people of Beirut, as they lacked the basic necessities of food, shelter, and water. Although facing great need, Life Center Church reached out to help as many victims as possible. Pastor Deeb says that's when another miracle took place. He told CBN News his story of heeding the voice of the Holy Spirit and sending everyone home. The interview was seen around the world and relief started pouring in.
"Praise God, we've been able to raise The Life Center back to its normal self and even better!" said Deeb. "[And we're] debt-free, we don't have any debts anymore, and the extra funds we got, we were able to help 800 families eat, those affected families, every month with food parcels, so since day one, we've been giving food away with the little money we had and the Lord kept sending, sending, sending," Deeb said.
"Please Pray for Lebanon"
But Deeb says the overall situation in Beirut remains desperate. Much of the city still lies in rubble leaving many people without hope. "Everybody wants to flee the country, some are trying to go in boats and they're dying in boats actually, every day, but please, pray for us to give hope to all those around us to strengthen them, especially the leaders," Deeb pleaded.
"I'm Seeing People Come to Jesus Like Never Before!"
He says despite the horror of that deadly explosion, God is bringing something good from the ashes. I'm seeing people come to Jesus like never before, Never! and a big number of priests coming to faith, a big number of priests coming to the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the signs and wonders following..so it's the time for Lebanon," Deeb said.
Pastor Deeb says he's grateful that people around the world saw his story and helped in their time of need. "Thank you CBN... people from all around the world, all around the world started sending big amounts, small amounts and praise God! It was the first time I've seen the Body of Christ in action to help the people affected by the blast," he said.
Deeb believes God is not done with Lebanon. "So many promises in the Bible and suddenly Lebanon will be transformed into a fertile field and everybody will be my disciples says the Lord, in Lebanon, can you imagine?" he said.
Click HERE for more information about the Life Center of Beirut.