Refugee/Internally Displaced Persons Appeal - October 2018

And winter is coming …

They are Iraqi Christians who fled ISIS and Syrian Muslims were driven out by war. They found safety in Lebanon and Jordan but not much else, as they quickly overwhelmed the capabilities of the governments who opened their borders to receive them. International aid agencies came to their assistance but so much more was needed, especially considering that more than 60% of them are school-age children. The numbers are hard to grasp: 1.3 million Syrians came to Lebanon – in a country of only four million people. In both Jordan and Lebanon, many want to go home but their countries are not yet stable. Others are in the long queue to immigrate to the West. Most just do not know what the future holds for them and their families. Some have made a temporary life in tents. Others crowd together in small rooms. Despair is found in abundance. Hope is a rare commodity.

And winter is coming …

But hope and healing are being affected, quietly and patiently, and carried into broken lives by three Christian ministries which The Outreach Foundation, because of your gifts, is helping to sustain: Together for the Family, based in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, works with traumatized Syrian youth and mothers with newborn infants. In a densely packed, lower-middle class Christian area of Beirut, Our Lady Dispensary ministers to over 1,500 families – most of them are Iraqi Christians – who need food, medicines, help paying rent, and trauma healing for their children. In Jordan, the Orthodox Initiative of the Middle East Council of Churches serves in the tent camps of the northern desert where Syrians have made a temporary “home” in a harsh climate and with Iraqi Christians taken in by the Syrian Orthodox Church.

And winter is coming …

Rola al Kattar is a tender-hearted volunteer who has been trained by the Bible Society in the “Healing Hearts” trauma ministry and is about to start her third series of 10-week encounters with Iraqi children in Beirut at Our Lady Dispensary. She shared this about her summer program: “These children had lost everything. At the beginning, we took time to let them feel secure to begin to share their feelings and then express that through words and drawings. We focus on forgiveness and how we can start life anew. We talked about taking their pain to the cross of Christ and so they wrote letters to Jesus and we put them in balloons and released them to the sky. Over the weeks joy builds, as does hope. To Christ be all the glory, as he chose to reflect his love and his image from the beginning of the world.”

As cold weather approaches, there are many urgent needs such as heaters, blankets and warm clothing. With Christmas around the corner, all three ministries hope to witness to the Baby born in Bethlehem (who had spent his early years as a refugee in Egypt, you may recall) with extra gifts of food for families and small toys for the children.

Winter is coming for refugees in Lebanon and Jordan. And so, we thank God for the ministries who shine the Light in the cold and the dark and we are humbled to partner with them in giving witness to the Hope. We would welcome your continuing gifts to make this possible…


Marilyn Borst
Associate Director for Partnership Development

Read more about the Refugee/IDP Appeal HERE.

Gifts for the Refugee/IDP Appeal may be made HERE or by sending a check to our main office.