Pastor Said Deeb of Life Center Church in Beirut said he had a feeling he needed to send staff home on the day a massive explosion rocked the city.
"I don't know why, I was so rude, I told everyone, 'Go home, go home, just close the Center'," Pastor Deeb explained, according to CBN News. "But people said, 'How come? We came a long way, we have commitments, we have meetings.' I said I don't know why but please go home and come back on Sunday and it was a Tuesday afternoon," he said.
Deeb said he sent home 34 staff members and canceled children’s Bible classes.
"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."
Then on Aug. 4, the roof of a warehouse near the Port of Beirut caught fire, sparking several blasts and then finally, an explosion.
Life Center Church in Beirut is only about a mile from the explosion’s epicenter. Church windows and doors were blown out in the explosion.
Nearly 200 people were killed in the city and thousands were injured, according to reports.
"The need all around us is huge, so people were coming from all over Lebanon to help clean the area where we are and we started sending them food and giving away drinks. And I thank God for the Body of Christ, people keep calling me from all over the world asking how they can help. It's the first time in my life I feel like the International Church is united together to help Lebanon and to help Beirut," Deeb said.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Daniel Carde/Stringer
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.