Leven Baptists visit Beirut

Martin Walton, Mark Pexton, Alison Wood, Katy Dobbie, Alana Moonlight, Neil Pexton, Jim Pettigrew and Scott Grimsley.
Martin Walton, Mark Pexton, Alison Wood, Katy Dobbie, Alana Moonlight, Neil Pexton, Jim Pettigrew and Scott Grimsley.
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AN EIGHT-strong team from Leven Baptist Church has visited the Middle East to form a supportive link with Beirut.

Martin Walton, Alison Wood, Katy Dobbie, Alana Moonlight, Neil Pexton, Jim Pettigrew, Scott Grimsley and minister, the Rev Mark Pexton, were there to offer support to a Baptist Church in the Hadath suburb of the Lebanese capital.

The group, right, helped lead a children’s club, attended by around 45 youngsters.

Members also assisted – in 35 degree heat – with painting the church premises, which were being renovated.

The Hadath church is right on the ‘green line’ between Christian and Muslim sectors of Beirut, said Rev Mark Pexton – communities which, historically, had little interaction or understanding of each other.

Because of its location, the church desired to reach out to all sections of the community to encourage understanding and respect, so it was altering its premises to provide a local gym, after school club, café, and other activities to offer a service and provide a gathering point for different communities.

“It was a wonderful opportunity for the team from Leven to offer some support to newly-made friends in Beirut,” said Mr Pexton.

“It was also an amazing privilege to experience something of Lebanon – a stunningly beautiful and historic land, but blighted by conflict and tension.

“And yet, the Lebanese are a people constantly trying to rebuild and retain the fragile peace that currently exists there.”