The Chairman’s Report for November 12, 2021

In this issue of the newsletter
Update:   Purchase of 15 seat VW Transporter “bus” for use in Jos city
Update:   New classrooms under construction at site of rented building
Update:   New playground equipment purchased / New school uniforms
Update:   Christmas for Refugees financial goals not met. Lebanon in crisis

Orphanage in Nigeria
New location in Jos taking shape quickly

New orphanage building: The rented building to help replace the orphanage in Miango destroyed by Sunni Muslims is fast turning into a home and school for the children.

There is a large enough area around the building to be able to build some classrooms and furnish the children some recreation.

Swings, slides and seesaws have been purchased and assembled and are being enjoyed by the children.

The bedrooms are completely furnished with bunk beds and new mattresses. Every bed has new mosquito netting.

Initially we purchased several bales of used clothing for the children that they can be seen wearing in the photos at right. Funds were also allocated for school uniforms.

In Nigeria every school, public or private, has school uniforms. In the city setting, these orphaned children will see others in sharp looking uniforms, and it is best for self-esteem and discipline that the orphanage children have uniforms as well. The cost was not great. The uniforms for all 147 children cost just at $900.

Being inside the city limits of Jos has advantages and disadvantages. There is better access to materials needed, but there are also city type distractions for the children to cope with. On the other hand, the children are closer to events they can participate in. The older children can now be easily transported to a variety of events such as Bible verse contests in churches.

The Transporter can also be used to bring food and materials back to the orphanage without hiring a truck and driver. We will work with just the one vehicle for now and see how that works out. Also, since the last newsletter we have fully equipped the kitchen with pots, coolers, storage containers and deep freezers.

Temporary classrooms built behind the rented building in Jos.

The construction of classrooms in an open area directly behind the building we rented is continuing.

We purchased the lumber and plywood to build out the temporary classrooms. These are not even close to the standards that were used to build the school building at the IDP camp in Benue.

These buildings are meant to be temporary, and the cost is just about 10% of the school building in Benue. No cement slab was laid; the floor is dirt. There are no support beams. Keep in mind we paid only for lumber and plywood and the buildings were constructed by volunteers, not professionals.

Our goal remains, during the time of the two-year lease of the main building, to find the land to buy and construct a proper facility.

Shower issues: In the midst of moving the kids into the new building, there were issues found with the showers. The building was rented “as is” but gave us a lot of leeway to change the building into what we needed.

This is the “bus”. It is a 2007 VW Transporter we provided.

As part of that deal, we had to pay to repair showers. With the number of children, we have in the building that was a must do. The biggest expense in the last month was the actual purchase of the “bus.”

Well … Not exactly a bus but that is what orphanage staff call the used 2007 Volkswagen Transporter that has 15 seats. Transporters are not sold in the United States.

In Europe they are configured as camper vans, but in Nigeria and most other 3rd world nations the interior is maximized for passengers, often with 15 seats.

The VW Transporter was purchased in the larger city of Lagos and driven back to Jos in the last week of October.

The selection took some time as there are always budget issues for organizations such as ours that do not have government funding.

A new VW Transporter can cost well over $35,000 depending on equipment. We paid less than $9,000 for the 2007 Transporter and it is in excellent mechanical condition. The van will be used to transport the children as well as items needed for the orphanage.

Spiritual needs

They are worn during school hours. We also provided several bales of used clothing for the children to wear during non-school times.
These are the new school uniforms we had made for the children.

The children are back into their routines with daily Bible study. On the Internet version of this newsletter, I will include the daily schedule of the orphanage children.

These children need our prayers and so do the many thousands of Christian children like them in Nigeria that we are unable to help.

Thousands of Christian children and their parents are in IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camps in Nigeria. The Religious Freedom Coalition financed the construction of a small school building in Benue State at one of those camps.

            The attack on the Miango area that destroyed the original orphanage also destroyed hundreds of homes and several churches. Businesses were destroyed and many were left homeless and without work.

The attacks don’t stop. Since the destruction of the orphanage there have been three more attacks in Plateau State that I know of. On September 28th four more Christians were killed in Miango including a Catholic priest.

Two more attacks in Plateau State killed another four Christians. There are probably more I don’t know about in Plateau State. Christians were also murdered in organized attacks by Muslims in Lisuru Gidi, Kogi, Kamacha and Massu.

How many of those attacks were reported in Western media? How bad is it worldwide? To keep up with Muslim terror attacks go to www.thereligionofpeace.com. That site lists terror attacks all over the world. Not all are against Christians. Many of the attacks are against Hindus and Buddhists as well.

There are also Sunni Muslim attacks against the Shia Muslims. Two weekends in a row Shia mosques in Kandahar, Afghanistan were hit by suicide bombers. On October 8th 62 Shia died and 143 were injured, and then on October 15th 63 were killed and 83 injured. All the attacks are by Sunni Muslims.

Ask almost any politician in Washington, DC and they will be happy to tell you that the Sunni Muslims, particularly the Saudi Arabian variety, are friends of America. Congressmen, Senators and Administration officials skip over the fact that the Taliban are Sunni Muslims.

First and foremost, we need to pray for the Christian victims of Sunni Muslims such as the Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen in Nigeria.

Prayer is also needed that the blinders made of cash will fall off the eyes of our elected officials and their eyes will be opened to the truth that Sunni Muslims have never been our allies — and the prime example was the 9-11 attack on our nation!

There are also Sunni Muslim attacks against the Shia Muslims. Two weekends in a row Shia mosques in Kandahar, Afghanistan were hit by suicide bombers. On October 8th 62 Shia died and 143 were injured, and then on October 15th 63 were killed and 83 injured. All the attacks are by Sunni Muslims.

Ask almost any politician in Washington, DC and they will be happy to tell you that the Sunni Muslims, particularly the Saudi Arabian variety, are friends of America. Congressmen, Senators and Administration officials skip over the fact that the Taliban are Sunni Muslims.

First and foremost, we need to pray for the Christian victims of Sunni Muslims such as the Boko Haram and Fulani Herdsmen in Nigeria.

Prayer is also needed that the blinders made of cash will fall off the eyes of our elected officials and their eyes will be opened to the truth that Sunni Muslims have never been our allies — and the prime example was the 9-11 attack on our nation!

Christmas for Refugees

An outdoor event in Lebanon last year.

DONATIONS DOUBLED: Right now, every gift to Christmas for Refugees is being doubled by the Matching Gift Fund set up by the Leadership Circle. The Leadership Circle is a group of very generous supporters of the Religious Freedom Coalition.

This year the Leadership Circle provided a matching gift fund of $140,000!

We must raise $140,000 in smaller donations to receive the entire matching gift fund. That would give us $280,000 toward the budget to provide a real Christmas for 12,500 displaced Christian children, many of them from war torn Syria.

Lebanon is in a state of crisis and literally bankrupt as a nation as it deals with 40% of its population being refugees from Iraq and Syria. The Lebanese currency is worthless, having lost 90% of its value against the U.S. dollar in the last two years. The country cannot even afford to buy fuel for power plants.

Lebanon, despite its current problems, is a key part of our Christmas for Refugees program. Our ministry partners in Lebanon coordinate the Christmas program not only in Lebanon but in Syria as well.

In Lebanon about 4,000 children and their refugee families will participate in the program. In Syria 5,550 Christian children and their families who have been displaced by the ten-year conflict will be part of the program.         

In all, our Lebanese partners are coordinating the programs for 9,550 of the 12,500 children our Christmas programs will reach this year.

In Lebanon and Syria, each program is held by a different church. There will be dozens of programs, and I don’t want to see even one of them cancelled. Matching the $140,000 Matching Gift Fund this year is critical.

The need is urgent for Christmas. If possible, rather than sending a check to help with the Christmas program, please donate online at www.2021ChristmasMatchingGift.org.

Bethlehem: We face rising costs in our West Bank ministries, not only for the Christmas program there but for the Diaper program as well. Our big hurdle is double taxation. Israel imposes a tax on everything coming across its border even if the products are destined for the Palestinian area. Then the Palestinian Authority adds a tax as well.

Everything we buy that is imported, such as gifts for the children or for diapers, is more expensive than anywhere else we work. Yet we can’t leave! This is the birthplace of our Lord, and the Christians here need our help.

            We are trying to make a difference for the few Christians remaining in the Holy Land.

William J. Murray, President

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