Preparations begin: During the hard realities and the confusion of the Covid-19 period we are in, life must go on. For example, sheltering in place does not work if those who farm and those who package and deliver the food are not allowed to work.
Life at all levels at some degree has to continue regardless of Covid-19 and the reactions to it. Our sacred days such as Easter and Christmas do not stop being sacred because of a virus.
The coming of our Lord over 2,000 years ago is still a cause for celebration.
We have come a long way with Christmas for Refugees and cannot be stopped now.
For the last eight years, many thousands of Christian children displaced from their homes because of attacks by Sunni Muslim jihadists have had a real Christmas thanks to our Christmas for Refugees programs.
In 2019, Christmas programs were held for displaced Christian children in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, and also in Bethlehem in the West Bank. Last year was the second year that Christmas programs were held in war torn Syria, in eight different areas including the Valley of the Christians.
And also, for the second year, Christmas for Refugees programs were held to help Christian children in the birthplace of our Lord … Bethlehem!
In all, last year more than 10,000 children attended Christmas events where they were able to worship the Lord in song, listen to strong Gospel messages, and have fun with Gospel themed workbooks, coloring books and games.
Many of these children are from “traditional” Christian homes. They were born with Christian names, but their families may not have gone to church in years. It is important for us to reach these children after the challenges they have faced from Islamic State oppression.
The single most important part of the program is an invitation to trust the Lord as Savior, to say a Salvation prayer, something many of these children have never done.
The Christmas for Refugees program has become a tradition in several nations, showing the love of Christians here in America for the Christian children who have suffered so much under Islamic oppression.
We must plan as if every event will be held in every country we serve, regardless of the situations that may exist now.
Areas in which we hold the Christmas programs may or may not allow gatherings for the children. But we must prepare none the less for every single planned event.
What happens if some areas are locked down in December and events are not allowed? We will do what we can where we are allowed to by governments this year, and if some events have to be canceled the funds will be held over for the following year.
William J. Murray, President