2018 could be a difficult year for Christmas for Refugees: In mid-July, less than $1,000 had been received for the Christmas for Refugees program for 2018. The Christmas program was way behind financially when I mailed the first appeal for funds in July. The focus has been on doubling the Diapers for Refugees program this year, which has been accomplished. Now the focus must really be on getting ready for the Christmas program and we must raise funds while under an orchestrated attack by the left-wing establishment.
We keep track of every dollar that arrives for every program. In this newsletter, there is a reply slip that lists programs. When those slips arrive with donations at our office the exact number of dollars indicated by donors for each program are recorded for those specific programs. Our office knows down to the dollar the exact amount donated to each program. We do have an “as needed” category that helps us smooth out program costs, but most donations are for specific projects supporters want to see succeed.
Yes… There is still a need for $35,000 for the Diaper program in September and another $35,000 in December. But the need for the Christmas program will reach $385,000 this year if we fill all the requests from our ministry partners in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Nigeria.
The question is: Will we be able to meet all requests for the Christmas program? In Lebanon our ministry partner wants to increase the program to 2,000 children and to furnish two blankets to each family. Lebanon is an expensive place. Beirut is almost as expensive as New York City and a cup of coffee can cost $3.00! Sadly, regardless of how many families we reach, many thousands more will spend Christmas in a tent in a farmer’s field.
In Iraq the program costs will increase because the location of the children is spread out more. Not all the children are still in Erbil. Many have moved back with their families to try to rebuild their looted and destroyed homes in Bartela, Karmelesh and Qaraqosh. The programs must take place in church halls that need generators because there is no electricity. The dinners for the children must be trucked in from Erbil along with all the equipment and volunteers needed.
In Jordan, we could expand the Christmas for Refugees program to 5,000 or more children if the local ministries had the infrastructure — which they do not. But we can still reach 2,000 to 3,000 children.
What then can we do for displaced Christian children this Christmas?
We can do what the Lord will provide for us to do.
The supporters of the Christmas for Refugees program will provide the funds that the Lord wants us to have to reach the number of children He wants us to reach this year. We must rely on prayer and the generous support of those He directs to help with the Christmas for Refugees program in 2018.
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