In this issue of the newsletter
New: Temporary orphanage site flooded causing delays in move
Update: Progress report on construction at new orphanage site
Update: Fencing, gate and other security features at orphanage site
Update: Expanding the Christmas for Refugees program in Syria and Nigeria
Nigeria rainy season damage to temporary orphanage site
Some loss from water damage: The worst of the rainy season in the area the orphanage is in should be June and July, but on August 11th a storm brought major flooding to the temporary location of our orphanage. Water as high as ten inches ran down the hallways.
Damage from the flood was not significant but it was a message to me that the right decision had been made to go ahead and buy land inside Jos for the new location.
The photos on pages two and three show the significant work that is being done to ready the new orphanage site for the children.
Even though the new location is inside Jos city and near a government complex, security is still an issue.
I want the children to be safe, but it is just as important for the children to feel safe after what they have been though in the past. Before they arrived at the orphanage many of them witnessed their parents being murdered. Some survived being shot or slashed with machetes.
The children felt safe in the Miango orphanage location until the horrors of August 2021 came. The feeling of security for the children was smashed as they escaped just hours before death knocked at their door again.
Sunni Muslim Fulani Herdsmen barred down on Miango, killing innocent civilians and destroying churches. Christian homes and businesses were destroyed. The children’s clothes were lost as every building at the orphanage was burned.
To make the children feel safe at the new location the first thing that was done was to fix all fencing around the entire property and install large very secure gates.
Below I have included various photos showing different states of the work that has been done at the new orphanage site in Jos. In the next newsletter I hope to have photos of completed buildings with the children moving in.
To complete the feeling of safety we have changed the name of the orphanage. The new official name registered with the Nigeria Corporate Affair Commission is Jos Christian Refuge for Children.
Christmas for Refugees 2022
Planning begins: Our associate ministries in the Middle East have already begun planning for Christmas programs for displaced Christian children.
Lebanon is our biggest challenge!
One fourth of the Lebanon’s population consists of refugees!
Yes … You read that right … one out of every four people in Lebanon are refugees. There are 1.5 million Syrian refugees, many of them Christians. Those are the official figures, but the actual number is probably higher.
Churches in Lebanon are heavily overburdened by Christian refugees from both Syria and Iraq. I have visited Christian schools there and some are operating three shifts to try to accommodate refugee children who are not allowed to attend the public schools.
We hold more Christmas events in Lebanon than anywhere else.
Churches of all denominations welcome our Christmas programs because it takes stress off of them. The churches are able to hold programs for children without expense. We are providing most of the program materials, the meals, the gifts and often transportation.
We have continued the programs despite political and economic upheaval in Lebanon.
Inflation in Lebanon in 2021 was 155% and it looks like inflation will hit 178% this year. Food is subsidized but that is not much of a help as most products available in Lebanon have to be imported. The Lebanese pound traded at 1,507 per dollar just a few years ago. Right now, it trades at 15,500 per dollar.
This puts a lot of pressure on our programs even in Syria because our Lebanese partners conduct all the programs in Syria.
Christmas Matching Gift will help: I probably can’t do all the planned programs this year for the budgeted $400,000. Inflation will push us past that. We can still make it with the Christmas Matching Gift that doubles any Christmas gifts. The funding is urgently needed, and I ask anyone planning on helping to please send their gifts as early as possible.
Christian refugee children are at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to receiving aid from the UN, the EU or USAID. Our Christmas programs help the children, the families and lift their spirits. We bring them the joy of Christmas and the knowledge of Salvation through Jesus.
Nigeria: The Christmas budget only set aside funds for one “Jesus birthday party” at the Jos Christian Refuge for Children. Our children and the staff want to organize events for two smaller orphanages with fewer children. The children have offered to use some of their budget to share the joy of the Lord at Christmas.
I really want to help our orphanage kids spread the Good News about Jesus. Please pray for the children and please pray about what you would be able to do for Christmas for Refugees this year.
William J. Murray, President