At Christmas, refugees to find hope

Lebanon (GAiN) — Editor’s Note: Global Aid Network has been working to get a shipment of relief and supplies to Iraq. The good news: the latest shipment arrived and cleared–just in time for Christmas! What follows is their description of the project itself:

(Photo courtesy Global Aid Network)

(Photo courtesy Global Aid Network)

Work in the Middle East uncovers centuries of distrust between people groups. Sunni and Shiite Muslims still disagree about the proper succession of leadership after Mohammed. Christians and Muslims disagree about who is the true God. With power struggles so deep and so enduring, only the love of Christ can bridge the divide between people.

Cru partners (and other like-minded Christian workers) are indigenous staff, believers who were born and reared within the cultures we serve. They know the culture intimately, speak the language fluently, and maintain close connections with key community influencers. Their partners know who to help and how to distribute aid without hurting the local economy.

Their staff on the ground throughout the Middle East know the refugees or their families. They spend time building relationships and establishing trust among those who are lonely, traumatized, afraid, and in need. They overcome prejudice by sharing material aid and demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ. When aid arrives, it is distributed without prejudice or stipulations. Kindness melts away years of preconception and suspicion about Christianity.

Without the ability to meet the physical needs of refugees–people victimized by overzealous religious extremists, Christian workers have little hope of overcoming fear and prejudice.

GAiN plans to provide humanitarian relief in association with in-country partners. The total amount of the project is $680,000, which will provide emergency help for the next 6 months. This project can be broken down into three components:

*$250,000       Immediate needs (items purchased in-country) — Food, clothing, medical supplies, blankets, hygiene items, shelter and living expenses

*$270,000       Compassionate relief (10 containers, $27,000 each) — Food, clothing, medical supplies, blankets, coats, shoes, baby supplies

*$160,000       Temporary shelter — Tents that are sturdy enough to withstand winter, equipped with heaters.

Their strategic partners will identify the truly needy and distribute the aid in ways that help them cultivate long term relationships. Through these relationships, refugees receive more than relief for their temporal needs: they have the opportunity to learn about how to receive abundant, eternal life.