Important message about the COVID-19 Coronavirus

In an effort to care for all of our personnel, families, and mission around the world, EMI has been taking a number of steps in response to the progress of COVID-19.

Location-specific Crisis Management Teams remain in place to monitor COVID developments, inform, and care for EMI personnel. Decisions about official EMI travel (including project travel) domestically and internationally are being made on a case-by-case basis by Office Directors in locations concerned. EMI’s worldwide offices remain in varying states of closure with personnel working remotely or from home.

We continue to actively monitor the situation and will respond to new information affecting our worldwide ministry and teams. We view the COVID-19 Coronavirus as an opportunity to live out the gospel and our faith in Jesus through the ministry of EMI.

Goal: USD 10,000

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On August 4th, a catastrophic explosion occurred in Beirut, killing over 200 individuals, injuring thousands and rendering hundreds of thousands homeless. Please join us in praying for the people of Lebanon as they seek to recover from this devastating event.

EMI has put together a team of structural engineers to that have deployed to Beirut to assist with assessments of buildings that were damaged from the shock-wave of the explosion. We have worked with many wonderful ministries in Beirut before, and we will be coordinating through those contacts to meet the real physical needs of those within ministry as well as the general public in coordination with official entities. 

We need your help in order to do this! Please consider giving today to help us repair what's been broken and offer hope.

September 08, 2020

Update from Phyllis T., EMI Disaster Response Team Member

A large portion of our work involves explaining to people what causes structural concerns, what non-structural damages are, and which existing conditions are exacerbated by the blast. We see an overwhelming number of cracks and chippings in existing concrete caused by water damages. Although these failures look worrisome to the untrained eyes, most can be repaired. Today, we visited a family that was packing up to move because they were told by another NGO that they had to evacuate. All their windows and doors are gone and there are indeed cracks in the walls. However, since the cracks are in the non-loading bearing walls and the load-carrying elements are intact, the building is still safe to occupy. That is not to say extensive repair isn't needed, but this at least is one less family having to face displacement.

Structural engineer Craig C. explaining the causation of cracks in the partition wall. Photo by Phyllis T.

Team leader/architect Baher observing the Port Of Beirut from the balcony of an aged apartment in the direct path of the blast. Photo by Phyllis T.

September 07, 2020

Update from Phyllis T., EMI Disaster Response Team Member

The structural training we provided last week opens up opportunities for new partnerships. Today, we visited a few potentially structural unsound buildings, red-flagged by UN-Habitat Lebanon. These buildings are in five alleyways that are part of UN-Habitat's urban upgrade project to rehabilitate existing mix-used buildings in efforts to strengthen the local economy. Additionally, we also walked around a heavily-damaged area to identify typical damages to be included in future training and as case studies.

Our team observing a heavily-damaged building. Photo by Phyllis T.

An evacuated building less than 1 km from the Port of Beirut, site of the explosion. An estimated 300,000 people have been displaced from their homes as a result of the blast. Photo by Phyllis T.

September 04, 2020

Update from Phyllis T., EMI Disaster Response Team Member

We hosted a structural assessment training for local architects and engineers in partnership with the Municipality of Bouj Hammoud. Based on the positive feedback we received, our team is looking into providing more training for different municipalities and volunteer organizations.

During the Q&A session, participants asked some great questions from what they have seen on the ground. Some of which we have not seen and will help us to fine-tune future trainings.

Providing training for local architects and engineers so that they are equipped to perform assessments for both this immediate need and future needs. Photo by Phyllis T.

Photo by Phyllis T.

Apart from physical damages, there is so much more beneath the surface in the lives that are changed by the explosion. A mother of three shares with us how her baby cries inconsolably when she hears the sound of the helicopter that carries the French President during his Beirut visit. She doesn't name it but all her children exhibit symptoms of PTSD. Loud noise reminds people of the horrific blast. People freeze in fear and in anticipation that a second - more powerful and destructive - blow would follow like it did. A social worker tells us that most people are still in shock. No one has the time to stop, to think, to process, and to grieve. How do we repair human souls?

September 02, 2020

After two days of quarantine upon arriving in Beirut, our team was able to get out and begin assessments over the last two days. The first day, they were able to work with the local Armenian school and the head office of the Armenian Evangelical Church. Thankfully, after full assessment, they were able to inform leadership that all damages were not structural.

"We had an eventful [second] day assessing eight locations and meeting with two key contacts on the ground. One of which is an Outpatient medical clinic that provides free health care to over 300 patients a day in Bouj Hamoud, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Beirut. 30 minutes before our meeting, the Lebanon field director found out that one of their nurses who was one of the first four personnel to return to the medical center after the blast has significant damages at her home. She has sent her son away to live elsewhere while she stays and continues to work. We are able to visit her home later in the day. And while her home has some of the most extensive damages we have seen, it is still safe to occupy. It was good to be able to provide a piece of good news to someone who has served so selflessly in her community."

-Phyllis T., EMI Disaster Response Team Member

Structural engineer Craig C. documenting exterior damages on a concrete wall, a common building material in Lebanon.Photo by Phyllis T.

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