SANTA ANA, Calif. (Dec. 11, 2012) – As many Christians in the West are preparing to go to their safe, warm churches to celebrate the birth of Christ and sing Christmas carols, beleaguered Syrian Christian refugees in Lebanon are wondering how they will survive the brutal winter weather.
“We came from Homs,” said a Syrian believer as he held his baby girl in his arms. “We fled from Homs because of daily fighting and shooting. When we left, our house was still intact, now we don’t know if it is still there.”
With temperatures falling below freezing, refugees are now living in make-shift tents instead of the homes they once lived in with their families.
Believers from Syria and other countries where Christians are persecuted are coping with all the hardships that come with persecution, rather than being able to enjoy the Christmas season with their fellow Christians and families.
However, the gifts from the Gift of Hope Catalogue from Open Doors USA can help bring joy to these believers. There are numerous life-changing gifts that can be given to a persecuted Christian. By supplying a survival pack for a destitute believer, people can provide a believer in need with food, medicine and other basic necessities – all for just $9.
“We are so thankful for your help with food, clothing, toiletries and now school fees for our children,” says one persecuted widow. “You really put a smile on my face and on the face of my children.”
There are various other gift options to meet the multiple needs facing persecuted Christians this Christmas. Gift No. 6 in the Gifts of Hope Catalogue provides a teenager with his or her own youth Bible for $19. Gift No. 17 helps provide a safe house for a persecuted believer for $75.
Other options in the catalog include supporting an orphan, training a church leader for a month, encouraging an isolated Christian woman through satellite television, providing vocational and literacy training and help with rebuilding a damaged church. There are 27 possible gift selections.
“Whether you put a Bible in someone’s hands, train a struggling pastor, help somebody learn to read the Bible or provide practical help for a martyr’s family, you will find there are many gifts you can provide to bring hope where faith costs the most,” says Open Doors founder Brother Andrew. “While life can be painful and unjust, your gift sends this message: ‘You are not alone. You are loved and remembered by me.’ Your gift will give them hope.”
These Gifts of Hope can be given in honor of someone as well. Cards are available in a PDF format to give in someone’s honor and are available when giving a gift at http://www.opendoorsusa.org.
An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation. Open Doors supports and strengthens believers in the world’s most difficult areas through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development, prayer and presence ministry and advocacy on behalf of suffering believers. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.
(For more information or to set up an interview, contact Jerry Dykstra at 616-915-4117 or email [email protected])