(photo: Regina Roman)
Fostering Education and Opportunities in Lebanon
by Gabriel Delmonaco
U.S. National Director
I just spent a wonderful evening at the Lebanese Taverna in Bethesda, Maryland, with 146 good friends. Outside, it was pouring rain — weather that makes you think twice before leaving the house — but inside we were rewarded with a Mediterranean feast.
Only, my friends and I werent there for the food. We had a higher purpose in mind.
Our hosts were a group of Lebanese Americans — immigrants and the children of immigrants — who are partnering with CNEWA to lift up the lives of poor children in the land of their heritage. They call their group Education and Opportunities for Lebanon (EOL), and the evening was a benefit to raise funds for their good work.
These folks have much to be proud of. Through CNEWA, they are providing scholarships to promising youngsters from disadvantaged families. Last year, they weatherized a Catholic school in a region of Lebanon where the winters are harsh. Plus, they built a science lab for the students of another Catholic school who had never had a science lab before.
The highlight of the evening was when Kathy Feghali, the chairperson of EOL, shared a remarkable message from a child whom these good people are helping:
At night I always pray. I never ask God for gifts or clothes or a better house. I thank Him for what I have and I pray that I can stay in school. He answered my prayers. He sent me you.
Dorothy Day once said that it is a grace to be grateful. Im grateful for my many friends — from Bethesda to your hometown, too. Thank you for your continuing generosity towards the poor and the churches of the East. Youve added grace to my life — and the lives of grateful people in CNEWAs world. My prayers and love go out to you.