Jordan (MNN) – After fleeing homes and struggling with job losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, refugee families settle in for a new hardship: winter.
Samuel with Redemptive Stories says that despite COVID-19 cases stabilizing to around 1000 per day in Jordan, many Syrian refugees continue to feel the strain of hard times. Frequently these families live off day laborer incomes in sectors that pay poorly even during good times.
It’s common to see a household of six to ten people living off about five to seven US dollars a day. However, with lockdowns slowing or stopping day laborer work, covering necessities for a family has gotten even harder.
Samuel says this problem grows urgent in winter. Not only are basics like food and clothing a problem, suddenly heat and staying dry become an issue. Many families cannot afford to keep a heater all year long. They sell it when the weather warms up and look for one again in the winter.
Physical Needs and Gospel Witness
Redemptive Stories partners with local organizations to help provide some of these basic supplies and offer in person encouragement to refugee families in need.
“In this case, we have a visitation program,” Samuel says. “It’s a partnership with a local church that goes out and interacts with these families that we work with. We provide some basic aid for them, whatever their unique needs are and then we share the Gospel with them. We share the hope of Jesus Christ with them.”
In a time of face-to-face restrictions, visits have changed. However, Redemptive Stories and their partners have been able to continue their work.
“Home visits look a lot different, you know, we’re socially distanced. We’re wearing masks. We’re trying to do what we can to help protect these families, particularly for our staff members, and as well as our staff members who are regularly in homes and out of homes and into other homes.”
Help Provide for New Believers
People may be wearing masks, but God is still drawing near during these visits. Samuel says they are seeing lives changed for Christ. Redemptive Stories hopes that this will motivate the Church to prayer and action on behalf of refugees.
“Many Syrian refugees that have had to flee their country have come in contact with Christians and have come to faith in Jesus Christ, and are growing in their faith and desiring to serve Him. So I mean, the thing that should motivate all of us is to care for our brothers and sisters.”
Samuel asks the Church to pray for these new Christians. Pray that God would provide for their physical needs this winter and also draw them closer to Him through discipleship.
He also encourages Christians to help their brothers and sisters financially.
“One of the faithful organizations that gives to our organization is called MENA Collective. And I would encourage people to, if they have a desire to help with some of these winter packets, to look into perhaps giving to them through that organization. And, in general, as I said, just keep praying for your brothers and sisters. That they would stand strong. That they would grow in their faith and be faithful to be witnesses for the new hope that they have in Jesus Christ.”
Learn more about the MENA Collective here.
Header image courtesy of CDC Global on Flickr https://bit.ly/3qLmLZm