A chance to help the forgotten refugees in Jordan
We received this report from Peter and Vicki Crawley, who are based in the Middle East.
Robert gave some information about Jordan in his recent Mashal article on the consequences of the emptying of Syria. We would like to share in more detail how we can all help in this, based on a recent visit to Jordan, which impacted us deeply. Jordan as a country has a population of about 6.5m. It is not wealthy, has few natural resources, (tourism is suffering greatly), and relies on international assistance. There are approximately one million refugees in Jordan, that is one for every six people.
Most of these refugees are Syrian – with about 50,000 Iraqis – many of whom are Christian. The UN recognizes the Syrians, and have put in place a programme to help them although it is underfunded and has led to cutbacks being made in food credits paid to them.
The UN does not support or help the Iraqi Christian refugees at all, however. The Red Crescent is not interested in them either. They are a forgotten people. One of the few NGOs which works with them is Global Hope International.
We visited with the Global Hope team (there are just four on their staff in Jordan) plus volunteers. The four staff of Global Hope are utterly amazing; they are ordinary people just like you and me, and yet they are doing an extraordinary work, caring for all they come across, no matter what their faith.
We made a total of seventeen visits to families. We took them food, listened to their stories, met some immediate needs, wept with them, prayed with them and shared some comfort… If you would like to see our account of these visits please see this link.
1) We were always welcomed and given the best hospitality they could (even if only cold water in a plastic cup).
2) They never looked into food bags whilst we were there and never asked for material things without prompting.
3) Their one plea was not to be forgotten and for us to tell the world about them.
4) We had to tear ourselves away from each family in order to visit others. (We would have to say that this has NOT been our experience with refugees in other parts of the world, who can be enormously demanding).
This has NOT been our experience with refugees in other parts of the world, who can be enormously demanding.
The following story is typical of what we found.
William was a painter-decorator in Baghdad. The bombings and killings forced him to pack up and leave. He quickly sold his house. Just two days later his daughter Maria, aged 12, was kidnapped. He received a ransom demand for every single dollar he had sold his house for. He was warned that if he deducted one cent he would never see his daughter again,
He paid up and waited another five days before his daughter was released. He fled to Mosul, then ISIS arrived and they escaped once again to Erbil. They arrived in Jordan with absolutely nothing. They hope to settle in Australia and start a new life in peace
You can see the faces and read the stories of the other families we met with, each one was so special – and we would love you to become involved in this unique and strategic opportunity.
- Arabic people are being forced out of the strongholds of Islam into the West – by their own people – and in numbers not seen before.
- At the same time Christian Arabic speakers are also being forced out.
- There are live churches in Amman. The late king described Christians as the salt of the land in Jordan and the current monarch shows them favour.
- Muslims across the Middle East are fed up with Islam. Some are coming to Christ, through dreams and visions.
PRAY for those caught up in this diaspora to be discipled and empowered so that wherever they go in the world – that they will be salt and light. They will have a unique opportunity to come alongside Muslim refugees and share their story – so similar – but one that ends in hope and not despair, one that ends with a relationship with a loving God, not fear.
But empty stomachs have no ears . . . This is also an opportunity for the Church to feed its own hungry, and to provide shelter for its own homeless.
What does this opportunity look like in practice?
On the ground there is an amazing alliance – between Global Hope and its tiny team and local churches – both in Amman, in Madaba and elsewhere. And then there are the all important volunteers, both from within Jordan and from abroad.
‘What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and then loses his soul?’
Mark 8 v36
Challenge yourself -: How much time/energy and money are ‘spent/invested’ in what when it comes to the end of our lives is just ‘STUFF’?
Remember James ‘Faith without works is dead’ James 2 v 26
Malachi 3 v 10– ‘Test me in this…’ says God
Are we like the rich folk Jesus saw in the temple? They were properly giving their tithe – their 10% even down to their dill and mint! – but He criticized them sharply, firstly because they were neglecting justice for the poor, orphans and widow – and secondly because they were only giving out of their surplus – whereas the widow gave all she had.
This is biblically sound and has been proven by saints through the ages. We cannot out-give God. We have an obligation to our brothers and sisters, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and not help you?’ ’ Matthew 25 v44
Let God speak to you through these Scriptures. It is time for His Church to awake to the pight of our brothers and sisters in need around the world.
Can we also challenge you to find a refugee or person newly arrived in this country: Maybe a Polish or Eastern European immigrant? How do you approach them? Simple. Ask them to tell you their story, one to one. Buy them a coffee, lunch, a dinner – and see where God takes you!
In amongst the plethora of requests that come everyone’s way over Christmas, Peter and Vicki are concerned that we pray with purpose and give to God’s glory. They are asking whether we can help both in prayer and by giving in order to keep a family with a roof over their head, with some fuel and food. The cost for this is £200 for one month. Peter and Vicki ask, “How many months can you help for?” The easiest way is to follow this link http://www.globalhopenetwork.org/europe/refugees-middle-east and drop down to the section headed Jordan: Families Adopting Families.
They also ask if we can add 10% for the workers on the ground. They too need to pay rent, feed their family, and put fuel in their cars as they travel from family to family.