Merry Christmas from Help The Persecuted! Our Field Ministry Team is finishing the year strong, leaning into this season of generosity with coordinated Christmas outreaches across the Middle East and North Africa.
These events exist for the encouragement of our dear persecuted brothers and sisters, weary from another year of hardship and desperate for Christ’s perfect peace. They are also bringing the hope of the Gospel to the lost throughout the region, meeting their tangible needs and cultivating environments for Christ-filled conversations.
As we write this, shivering bodies are being wrapped in new blankets, hot meals are being placed on once-empty tables, and those in darkness are seeing Light for the very first time…
This Christmas, an underground house church in a North African country is gathering for its first-ever Spiritual Retreat! Most of those planning to attend have experienced intense persecution from authorities, family members, and employers this year.
Through the support of friends like you, our on-the-ground team member was able to rent a secure facility for believers from all over the country to gather for five days. Reprieved from the trials of their day-to-day lives, attendees have the rare opportunity to worship corporately, sit under solid teaching, and experience deep rest in the Lord. And their children will be learning about the birth of Jesus through Christmas lessons, games, and carols!
The church also has a thriving online ministry, evangelizing and discipling many in remote villages throughout the country. This will be the first time many of those new isolated believers can meet with fellow Christians face-to-face and be baptized! Join us in praying for these recent converts as they make public professions of their faith in Christ.
And before returning home to be salt and light in their communities, each person will receive a coat and blanket to keep warm this winter!
“Christmas for me means new life…Jesus gives us new life. The suffering and the pain continue. But inside this pain, there is hope from Jesus Christ. That’s what Christmas means to me.”—Fadi, Syria
Our team is bringing good tidings of great joy to weary Syrian Christians like Fadi this week!
These Syrian brothers and sisters have faced unimaginable suffering and persecution this year. Their country is left in post-war devastation…job opportunities are nonexistent, food prices have soared, and fuel for heat this winter is completely inaccessible.
In places like Damascus, we are partnering with local churches to coordinate a Christmas program for children in the community with carols, Bible lessons, and the distribution of much-needed winter gear. While their children are celebrating, parents are invited to attend a seminar on how to find emotional healing in the aftermath of war. These parents carry heavy burdens of not only their own trauma but their children’s as well…they are in desperate need of the Lord’s healing.
Other Syrian cities were hit especially hard by the war and remain in complete ruin. One of our partner churches in the area is creatively meeting the needs of their congregation by employing women in the church to knit sweaters for those most in need with wool supplied by Help The Persecuted. This provides our persecuted brothers and sisters with livelihood and warmth this winter!
Your generosity was the difference between life and death for countless Christians in Syria this Christmas!
Our Iraq Ministry Center continues to serve the post-ISIS city of Qaraqosh! We have over 60 children, many from families that lost everything during the invasion, enrolled in kindergarten this year. More than 25 of their parents are now meeting for weekly Bible study
This week, these families were able to set aside their heavy burdens to relish the joy of Christ’s birth together. The ministry center team has been intentional in sharing the Gospel with those who have not yet heard and will distribute fuel to families who are without heat this winter.
In a camp for displaced Iraqis in another city, our partner church is playing an active role in caring for children in crisis with a Christmas party and Winter Relief distribution. Coming from Muslim, Yazidi, and Kaka’i backgrounds, these children need Christ’s hope amid such bleak circumstances.
Please pray that a seed of faith would be planted in the heart of each child in attendance, ultimately impacting their families, and the entire camp, with the Gospel.
This report barely scratches the surface of our Field Ministry Team’s efforts to bring help and hope this Christmas season…and none of it would have been possible without the sacrificial generosity of our donors!
From ours to yours, Merry Christmas. May Help The Persecuted continue to be an instrument of Christ’s peace filling the earth this holiday season and beyond.