Chairman’s Report for August 25, 2023

In this issue of the newsletter
Update:   New classroom building at Nigeria orphanage almost complete.
Update:   First big crop from our farm – Irish potatoes are harvested.
Update:   Costs up for adult diapers for special needs elderly Christians in Bethlehem.
New:        ALERT – Matching gift fund will help Christmas and Diaper programs.

Nigeria Orphanage: New classrooms almost complete

          Positive change: The orphanage in Jos, Nigeria is now in its final construction stage as Block B classrooms are being completed. The new building consists of six classrooms and five WC’s. In America, we would call them restrooms but for most of the world they are “water closets” or WC’s.

            In the middle of construction, we decided on a change in design. The buildings construction being cement block would allow for a second floor. Rather than install a tin roof as the original design called for, we decided to use reinforced cement. This is a very common construction method in the Middle East and Africa and allows for expansion.

            By adding a cement roof, we are one step closer to adding a second story if needed. As our mission’s operation is expanding in the Jos area, this gives us the opportunity to either add additional classrooms or mission offices.

            Is the construction paid for? YES!

            My heartfelt thanks go out to every Religious Freedom Coalition supporter who helped to reach the goal of $41,000 to build the Block B classrooms.

            Gifts have now exceeded the $41,000 goal, which will allow us some new furnishings.

(Off beat fact: the nick name for Jos is Tin City — but not because most of the roofs are tin. It’s because the Plateau Plain holds the world’s largest known tin deposits along with columbite and niobium. There are mining operations near the city. My favorite restaurant in Jos is the Tin City Café which is operated by a ministry.)

The Farm

            Irish potatoes up! The soil in Plateau State is great for farming and the crops are consistent. The problem farmers face in Plateau is that the Sunni Muslim Fulani Herdsmen often run cattle through the farms, burning the homes and killing the men.

            Because of the danger, we rented land very close to Jos city. Two years ago, we bought a large passenger van so the children could take the short ride to the farm to work on the land. There are adult volunteers to assist with the more difficult tasks.            

The farm helps the children learn to provide for themselves rather than to depend on charity for everything they need. The farm builds character, self-confidence, and strength. Photos of the farm and first crops are on below.

Matching Gift Fund Supports Diapers This Year

Leadership Circle Matching Gift: The Leadership Circle is a group of Religious Freedom Coalition supporters who have come together to create a matching gift fund. For many years the matching gift fund was only available for the Christmas for Refugees program.

            The Matching Gift Fund has been changed for 2023.

            This year the fund will be set up so that matching gifts can be designated for the Christmas program, the diaper program or the Nigeria missions including the orphanage in Jos.

            What’s more is that any gift received from now through October 31st which is designated to a mission program will be doubled by the fund!

Critical need for adult diapers: Inflation has been raging worldwide, not just in the United States, so costs have risen for adult diapers for special needs Christians in the Middle East. In the United States the cost on average for adult diapers has increased 16% since 2021. Some states that had a retail tax on diapers have stopped the retail tax to make them more obtainable.

            Cost increases for adult diapers have been even greater in the Middle East. The increase in cost in Bethlehem borders on outrageous.

            To continue supplying the same number of diapers at greater cost, the diaper program will now be open to the Matching Gift Fund. 

            The need is so great that I sent a separate letter explaining the situation with the Diapers for Refugees program that you should have already received.

            For example, if you give a gift for both the diaper program and the Christmas program, both will be doubled.

            And gifts for the Nigeria mission will also be doubled!

Christmas for Refugees

Please pray for the Christmas for Refugees program and for the children who will be a part of it this year.

In Iraq many churches have been rebuilt and will be able to conduct their own programs. But the situation in Lebanon and Syria is worse than before.

Lebanon has the largest number of refugees per capita and per square mile than any other nation. There are 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, and many are Christians.

Nearly one out of every three people living in Lebanon is a refugee! The Christmas for Refugees program will focus on helping Christian refugee children living in Lebanon. Please pray for the children who live in deplorable situations, many in tents on rented farmland. Please pray for our native team in Lebanon as they plan for Christmas events there.

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