In less than a week, we all will be sitting down with our loved ones for our annual thanksgiving feast. As we all get excited and ready, I cannot help but think of the thousands of refugee children who often go days with no food.
See, on a recent trip to Lebanon, I had the pleasure and privilege to spend time with refugees in their tents, listening to their stories, and praying for them. All too often, I found myself unable to answer their questions. Simple questions like “When can we go back to our homes”? Or “What will happen to our children”?
As a father, listening to the stories, I kept thinking about my own child, and how much she has compared to the refugees. I was thankful for the chance to provide to her what she needs. Not one night did she go to bed hungry, yet here I was, sitting among many children with empty stomachs.
With the recent attacks in Beirut and Paris, one can easily assume things are getting out of control. The plight of the refugees crossing the oceans for safety in Europe is documented daily, with entire families sometimes drowning and dying. Yet, they keep trying! How desperate must a father be, to risk the life of his children, to try and offer them a better future?
WAM, has been involved in the region for over three years now, and we continue to be blessed with amazing partners, who stand and pray with us, support us financially and advocate on our behalf. As I write this report, my heart is heavy, and I keep catching myself going over the discussions I had with the refugees in their tents.
With winter approaching, WAM is preaparing early to help avoid what happened last year. Winter storms collapsed tents under the weight of the snow. Cold temperatures killed the vulnerable and old with no mercy.
1. In Lebanon, we intend to buy 1000 winter jackets and 1000 winter boots to outfit those in most need.
2. In Lebanon, we will continue to feed 500 children per month at least one hot meal a day.
3. In Lebanon, we will provide 500 tarps to strengthen 500 hundred tents deemed in risk of collapse this winter.
4. In Lebanon, we will also provide Syrian Christians and poor Lebanese cash aid, to allow parents to actually buy their children Christmas gifts or clothes, as is the tradition.
5. In Baghdad, we will support a large Christmas party for 1000 Muslim orphans, where they will get a hot meal, a winter jacket, Christmas gifts and a Christian themed Christmas program.
6. And in Dohuk (Kurdistan), through our partner, we are offering 500 Yazidi Children the opportunity to attend a non-formal school, where life skills and basic reading and writing courses can be taught. Equipping this generation to face the future is a responsibility we all need to shoulder.
WAM, operates through partners on the ground. They are on the front lines, building relationships, and facing dangers. It is because of them, that we are able to achieve what we have achieved so far. We ask you to pray for our partners, as they face daily challenges, are often burnt out, yet they still continue to help, because they feel called to do so by our Lord!
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