The race is on to see who can rebuild flattened Lebanon after the 5 week war. (assuming that war is really over) The international community hopes it will be the Lebanese government. The smart money, though, is on Hezbollah, the grass roots guerilla group that provoked the war in the first place.
Onlookers wish it were otherwise, but Hezbollah represents people with convictions, while the government represents……well…..coalitions and bureaucrats and politicians and (sometimes) scoundrels.
So far, it’s no contest. Changing hats, and flush with cash from neighboring Islamic nations, the recent guerillas now run backhoes and bulldozers. Was your home destroyed in the war? They rebuild it free of charge. This builds good will. Even those fed up with the group for its militancy are nonetheless happy to receive their aid….why would they not be? As for the international funds channeling through the Lebanese government, they are in transit, being appropriated, just around the corner, perhaps being siphoned, what have you.
Haven’t we heard this same story lately, closer to home?
One year after hurricane Katrina, although $17 billion has been approved by Congress to rebuild homes, not one house has been rebuilt! (from that source - some rebuilding has taken place from private sources, flood insurance, and charitable organizations)
Typical are reports such as this one:
“In a state where 60,000 homes suffered severe damage, only around 30,000 households were eligible for the initial program, and now less than three dozen checks have gone out,” said Oxfam America’s Minor Sinclair, director of its US regional programs. “Very few families will have made any progress by Katrina’s first anniversary. People are stranded in gutted-out houses, overcrowded trailers, and slipping deeper into debt, with no real help in sight.” Oxfam blames lack of political will, bureaucratic bungling, and poor policy decisions.
If it didn’t involve real people, it would be laughable. But it does involve real people. “I think people have lost hope,” says one Biloxi resident highlighted here. “When people don’t have any hopes, they don’t have anything to drive them to work, to do something good. Hope is long gone.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses are to Hezbollah as Tony the Tiger is to the Tamil Tigers, but there are two similarities. Both groups have conviction, and they can both rebuild.
3200 homes of Jehovah’s Witnesses were damaged by Katrina. They’re all rebuilt now. (I am extrapolating, based on previous reports.)
Jehovah’s Witnesses are organized to build. Regional Building Committees, comprised of volunteer JWs, exist worldwide to construct Kingdom Halls and Assembly Halls. When disaster strikes, these teams converge and form the core of relief efforts. Other Witnesses swell their ranks, putting their own businesses on hold or using vacation time. Materials are supplied either from donations made to the parent organization’s worldwide work, or made expressly for any particular disaster.
Really, then, as long as we have time favorable for it, let us work what is good toward all, but especially toward those who are related to [us] in the faith.....Gal 6:10
Belief will trump bureaucracy every time.