Refugee/Internally Displaced Persons Appeal - November 2019
Dear generous friends,
They are Iraqi Christians who fled ISIS and Syrian Muslims who 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 Jordan, the government struggles to serve a refugee community of 1.5 million. 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 and most countries have drastically reduced the numbers they will now welcome. 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.
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, women and mothers with newborn infants. In a densely packed, lower-middle-class Christian area of Beirut, Our Lady Dispensary ministers to over 1,000 families – most of them Iraqi Christians – who need food, medicines, help to pay 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.
The “basics” which sustain life are still needed: food, shelter, and medicine. But beyond the basics, these ministries offer hope in small and large ways: “dignity kits” for women, tuition help for children in church-run schools (government schools in Lebanon and Jordan are beyond capacity) and job training for women such as sewing, weaving, and hairdressing.
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 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 that 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...
Associate Director for Partnership Development
Read more about the Refugee/IDP Appeal HERE.
Make a gift to the Refugee/IDP Appeal HERE or by sending a check to our office.