$100,000 Already Transferred for Christmas Programs


Funds sent in October & November:  More than $100,000 was wired to our ministry partners in the Middle East in October.  The funds will be used to make deposits for such things as bus rentals and catering costs for the Christmas for Refugees events.  Gifts for the children and parents must be purchased well in advance and inventoried as well.

An additional $200,000 will have been wired to all locations including Nigeria by the end of November.  The last $80,000 will be sent in December — if we have the funds!

The full budget for Christmas for Refugees this year is $380,000 and as of today  we do not have the full budget raised.

Please pray with us that generous believers who care for the Christian children of the Middle East will send last minute gifts that will allow us to reach the full budget!

Seventy-six supporters of the Religious Freedom Coalition came forward to pledge $77,031 for this year’s matching gift challenge fund.  We still have not reached the matching goal which will allow us to receive the entire $77,031 match.  All matching funds must be released soon to be able to move forward with all the planned events in Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and the orphanage in Nigeria.

William Murray stands behind Iraqi children eating their hot Christmas meal in Madaba, Jordan. This was one of our small events in Jordan with about 200 children.

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It is still possible to cancel some of the Christmas events for the children, but which ones?  A lot of prayer is needed for us to reach the total budget of $380,000 for the 9,600 children and their families we had planned for this year.

Christmas for Refugees does more than provide a Christ-centered Christmas program and meal for the children.  The family of each child receives a Christmas gift as well, tailored to meet the particular needs in the area where they live.

Because of the increased size of the program my time in the Middle East this Christmas will be drastically expanded.  I must oversee some of the larger events in Lebanon a little early in December.  This requires two round trips from Washington, DC to the Middle East this year.

My wife, Nancy, and I will travel to Iraq the week before Christmas and then to Jordan during Christmas week.  While in Jordan, we will drive from Amman to Bethlehem to oversee some programs in the birthplace of our Lord and then return to Jordan for some larger programs there.  We will not return to the USA until Christmas Day!

Programs vary from area to area and church to church, but all are centered on the celebration of the Lord’s birth in Bethlehem.  Some programs in Jordan and Iraq are very large, with hundreds of children present at each event.  In Lebanon, there are more Christmas events held, but they are smaller.

Not just toys … Essentials are delivered as well

Regardless of where the Christmas for Refugees events are held the programs change according to age.  Gifts are also by age and gender.  It is a lot of work and it must be done right.  I will be there to make sure the funds you donate are used for the best outcome — and that is to have a time to worship the Lord and bring the youth closer to the Lord.

Last month, I sent you a photo of some of the contents of the hygiene kit gifts for the families.  Some families in colder areas receive blankets along with a smaller hygiene kit.  At each Christmas for Refugees event, we take the advice of our ministry partners who work with the displaced and refugee Christian families year-round.

I am excited about this year’s expanded program, but prayer is still needed that we will be able to help all 8,400 children we plan for.  Also, please pray for their safety as they travel to our events.  Some areas in Syria and Iraq are still not completely safe from terror.

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