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Dear Friends,

In 2016, Open Doors began a long-term initiative called Hope for the Middle East. This effort was designed to meet the needs of people who were displaced from their homelands or who were rebuilding their communities after ISIS forced them to flee. We set out to encourage and sustain the church in the Middle East—particularly in Iraq and Syria—to continue serving God while facing war, attacks or persecution.

Open Doors is happy to report we are beginning the fourth year of this campaign. We’re focusing on restoring hope to Christians as they continue to rebuild their homes and communities so that they can, in turn, carry out Jesus’ Great Commission by living out the Gospel in their homelands. We want to see the church in the Middle East rise up again!

The need for hope and encouragement is great. Many of our persecuted brothers and sisters in both Iraq and Syria are struggling to find employment and rebuild their businesses. Others are still displaced due to war and threats of persecution.

As part of the Open Doors community, you have the unique opportunity to support our brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria by writing letters of hope and encouragement—letting them know that thousands of Christians are lifting them to Jesus.

Each month, we will focus on a new letter-writing theme as we encourage our brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria. This month, our theme “Your role in church” is outlined below.  

God created each one of us in His image and also with a unique set of gifts, talents and interests. We each have the opportunity to bring who He has created us to be into our participation in His church. It is important that each of us do our part to live out the Gospel in our community and world.  

Have you ever sensed God was delighted when you were able to serve Him using the personality and talents God gave you?

As you write a letter to your brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria this month, please share how you serve God in your community and what you’ve learned using the gifts God has given you in your family, your church or your community. 

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” (Romans 12:6-8)

“To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.” (I Corinthians 12:8-10)

Hope is dawning in the Middle East. We think you’ll enjoy playing a part in what is happening there.

Blessings,

*Representative names and photos are sometimes used to protect identity.

This is a digital campaign only. Please do not submit handwritten letters for this campaign. Please use the form on this page to submit your letter. It will then be translated and shared via Facebook with many of your persecuted brothers and sisters in Iraq and Syria.

Writing Guidelines:

  • To assist in translation, please write in simple English and keep your letter brief.
  • Be encouraging and include 1-2 Bible verses.
  • As believers in the Middle East are facing struggles, you might want to share how you deal with personal (spiritual) struggles – for example, is there a special prayer or verse that helps you?
  • Show sensitivity; please don’t dwell on their plight or share about the blessings of life in your country.

For Security:

  • Do not mention Open Doors in your letters.
  • You may provide your first name, but do not provide your full name or address. Be aware your letter will be posted on a public Facebook page may be shared on social media by believers in the Middle East.
  • Do not criticize a country’s religion or religious extremists, its government, judicial system, or political leaders.
  • Do not make proposals to help.

If you would like to participate in more opportunities like this, you can regularly write letters to persecuted Christians in many countries by bookmarking and revisiting our website.

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