Contact and Resource Center
Who is the Contact and Resource Center and what are its ministries?
The CRC provides services and organizes advocacy for the disabled in Lebanon
The Contact and Resource Center (CRC), located in Beirut, Lebanon, was founded in 1978 to help meet the needs of victims of Lebanon's civil war. Reconciliation dialogs, sponsored by CRC, have brought Muslims and Christians--disabled and able-bodied--together to share their hopes for themselves and their country's future.
The CRC has grown into an institution that works mainly to enhance the future of Lebanon's disabled and has become one of the leaders in social rehabilitation of physically disabled people in Lebanon. CRC's programs include: an independent living apartment, therapy for the disabled, career guidance and counseling, a specialized nursery school program, a telephone ministry for those in crisis, and computer workshops. CRC also is the only government-licensed driver training facility for disabled persons.
The Dennis Hilgendorf Residence for the Disabled, named after one of the founders of CRC, is being planned. This project will provide housing for disabled individuals and families, plus seasonal dwellers, creating diversity and liveliness, and stimulating interaction with the neighborhood through shared community facilities.
The staff of the CRC
Woman at the CRC making bags for the 2009 ELCA Youth Gathering
The staff of more than a dozen nationals is assisted by many volunteers and is fully interconfessional.How do the Contact and Resource Center and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America accompany one another in ministry?
Through the churchwide ELCA Global Mission unit, the ELCA relates to and is in bilateral relationship with over 80 companion churches and institutions. The ELCA Global Mission unit stewards a relationship with the Contact and Resource Center.Churchwide funding
through the ELCA Global Mission unit supports key priorities identified by the Contact and Resource Center.
Lebanon: the context where the Contact and Resource Center serves
The country is officially known as the Lebanese Republic and gained independence on November 22, 1943. In 1991, a 16-year civil war ended and the Ta'if Accord instituted a more equitable political system. (Muslims gained a greater voice in the political process.) In May-June 2005, Lebanon held its first (since the end of the civil war) legislative elections free of foreign interference. Almost 3.9 million people live in Lebanon. Arabic is the official language with French, English and Armenian in use. Religious practices are mainly Muslim (60%: including Shi'a, Sunni, Druze, Isma'ilite, Alawite, or Nusayri) and Christian (39%: including Christian Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant).
The 1975-91 civil war damaged Lebanon's economic structure. Lebanon has rebuilt much of its war-torn physical and financial infrastructure by borrowing. In an attempt to reduce the national debt, the government began an austerity program, but public debt continued to grow despite receipt of more than $2 billion in assistance. The Israeli-Hizballah conflict in July-August 2006 caused an estimated $3.6 billion in infrastructure damage. Internal Lebanese political tension continues to hamper economic activity, particularly in the tourism and retail sectors. Economically, the widening gap between rich and poor (28% of the population falls below the poverty level) has caused grassroots dissatisfaction.
For up-to-date information on Lebanon, type “Lebanon” into an online search engine or visit: