Several Christmas events were held in Jordan in 2019. The situations the children live in as refugees are just as bad as the worst inner-city slums we have in Detroit or Baltimore. At the same time, there is a flagrant display of wealth in opulent malls, restaurants and social gathering places. This kind of opulence is nowhere to be seen in the Christian villages.
Two Christmas for Refugees events were held in the Holy Land this year. Please pray for the Christians of the West bank, particularly the children. As far as Israel is concerned, they are Palestinians and not welcome in Israel. They are unwanted by the Muslims that control the West Bank and unwanted by Israel. They are literally refugees in the land where their families lived long before the time Jesus was born there.
The Christmas program in 2019 was the third we have held at the orphanage in Nigeria. At all times we must be reminded that most of the children have lost both parents to Islamic groups such as the Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen. Just as was done for Christmas in 2017 all the children received shoes again in 2019. The day long Christmas celebration included puppet shows and each age group performed in a celebration of the birth of Jesus.
In Iraq our ministry partner is working on ways to better reach out to families that participate, and to provide them spiritual support. The same is true of our Diapers for Refugees program. We want to do more than just provide a service; we want to help families get connected to a local church and develop a lasting relationship with the Lord.
Although nationwide demonstrations shut down streets in Lebanon, every event was still able to be held. The Christmas events were a blessing to the children who attended and a blessing for Nancy and me to participate in.
William J. Murray reports from Qaraqosh, Iraq… an area that was destroyed by the Islamic State because of the Christian presence in the town. Watch this video to see how our Christmas for Refugees events help encourage Christians in areas like this!
Bill and Nancy Murray report from Lebanon to share an update for the 2019 Christmas programs that are underway!
More than 2,000 Christian children forced from their homes in Iraq and Syria by groups such as the Islamic State will have a real Christmas, one far better than their refugee parents are able to furnish for them.
But before we get to those final days in Bethlehem and Beit Sahour, the Christmas for Refugees program must be fully funded a full month before Thanksgiving. By the end of October, only $33,682 of the $97,225 matching challenge had been met.
Last year for the first time, the Christmas programs were extended to the few areas of the “West Bank” that are still Christian. In 1948 when the State of Israel came into existence, the “West Bank” was 86% Christian. Now it is 2% Christian. The Christian community is no longer self-sustaining and as a result is a persecuted minority.