Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Imagine, after travelling hundreds of miles to escape those who seek to cause you harm, you finally arrive exhausted and scared in a refugee camp. Or you end up alone in a big, foreign city where you have no friends or family.
This is what thousands of Christians who flee their homes because of war and persecution are faced with.
With an awful lot of faith, courage, and the spiritual and practical tools offered by our faithful partners, alongside your generous support.
You see, our local mission partners in Erbil, Kurdistan in Northern Iraq are working tirelessly for the gospel. For the last 16 years they have provided food, shelter, vocational training, toolkits, and the good news of Jesus to thousands of Syrian, Iraqi, Jordanian and Yazidi refugees.
They are a lifeline for women like Obada* who was being physically and mentally abused by her father and her husband. Obada had to flee her home and our partner offered her shelter in one of their safe houses.
They also taught her how to sew and gave her a sewing machine and a sewing toolkit so she could start a small business. They led her to Christ too and encouraged her to join one of the 25 local churches they have started in the area.
Today Obada is leading an independent life and is growing in her faith.
But this is not all.
Our partners also care for fearful Christian teenagers like Amir* (18) who are forced to flee Syria alone every day, because their heartbroken families know they will be conscripted to the front, to suffer and die in the war. They provide covert housing and vocational training, as well as, discipling them through pastoral visits and Bible study groups.
Ruth* also shared her story with our partner: “I’m Ruth Mary Zidan a 45-year-old Christian widow with three children: two married daughters and one single boy who lives with me, I’m from the countryside in Syria.
In 2010, I accepted Christ after going through severe circumstances in my life, and God showed me the way out. It was difficult back then to go to a church, but I always had the power to go fearlessly. After that, I started reading the Bible and taking courses in discipleship. Then I started serving and preaching the gospel of the Lord Jesus.
We fled to Kurdistan in Iraq when the Syrian war started, to receive better treatment and assistance. We went to Erbil and settled in. We never lost hope since God is always for us. After a while, we were introduced by some of the brothers and sisters to partners of Release International. They have been providing all kinds of services to all refugees.
That was the greatest help: to do the discipleship course they were offering and to know more about the Lord. This organization has supported many Syrians, including me, that lessen the difficulties we’ve facing. In addition to the discipleship course, I participated in vocational training (sewing), which encouraged me to find work and meet the financial needs of my family.” Ruth Mary Zidan
Additionally, every month, our partners provide food, medicines, and pastoral care to over 120 Christian widows who arrived in Kurdistan nearly six years ago at the start of the war in Syria. Many of them are poor and vulnerable – struggling to survive and have no homes to go to.
You can make a gift securely online by clicking the Donate Now! button.
By giving just £30 today you can feed and house a Christian in flight who has no home to go to and no one else but us to help her.
While your gift of £100 can ensure that women like Obada and Ruth can receive free vocational training and a toolkit she needs to earn a living as a hairdresser or a seamstress.
And a gift of £250 or more can help provide 5,000 Bibles and Christian books for outreach activities and Bible study for Christian refugees like Amir and Muslim background believers.
Will you give £30, or the most generous gift you can, today to ensure that a Christian in flight has the tools they need to start a new life?
The tools I am talking about in this letter are spiritual tools like a Bible to fill a Christian refugee’s heart and mind with God’s message of love and hope.
Pastoral tools like prayer and fellowship, so freely given by many workers and volunteers serving with our local partners, in Iraqi Kurdistan, or in other places of great need, such as Nigeria, Burkina Faso and Lebanon.
Practical tools like vocational training and the necessary things like a sewing kit or a hairdresser’s kit, etc that they need to earn a living. Food, medicines, and shelter for those seeking safety.
It’s so hard to see widows and orphans going to bed hungry, to see Christian families in flight living in run-down flats, when a bag of food supplies, some basic training and a few practical tools could help them to rebuild their lives.
Right now, our partners in Kurdistan have identified 3,000 refugees and displaced Iraqi Muslims, Yazidis, and Christian families on the borders. And they want to help them rebuild their lives and share the good news of Jesus with them.
These refugees have come so far and endured so much. And, by helping them today you will enable them to experience God’s faithfulness as expressed in Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
You can make a gift securely online by clicking the Donate Now! button.
Thank you so much for your prayers and your willingness to share God’s love in practical ways with those who are suffering for their faith in Jesus.
Grace and peace be with you always,
CEO, Release International
* Names have been changed for security reasons. Photos included are from image libraries, to protect the identity of those we serve.
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Lord, we lift to You all our brothers and sisters who have been forced to flee, simply because they love You.
Father, continue to uphold all of the displaced believers who have left their homes, their work, their friends and their land through fear of those who seek to kill them because they call You their Lord and Master.
In so many countries our family is in flight. The list of countries seems to grow each day and we pray for our brothers and sisters in Syria, in Iran, in Iraq, in Lebanon, in North Korea, in Nigeria and for our partners who seek to help them adjust to living in a new place when they arrive without so many of the bare essentials which we take for granted.
Lord, continue to prepare the ground in other countries, like Brazil, who are willing to accept these migrants and give them new homes and new opportunities to worship you in peace. Bless the local churches who help these new families to settle and become part of the church family in their new country.
Father, give us open hearts to accept these brothers and sisters if they move into our neighbourhood.
Lord, help us to help them. As they trust in You – so do we, and we ask now that our gifts will be used wisely and to great effect by those who receive them; that none of us will lose our faith in You; and that Your kingdom will continue to grow on Earth despite the opposition it faces in so many places around the world.
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