“We believe we must forgive” – breaking bread with Iraqi Christian refugees

“We believe we must forgive.”

So said one of the Christian Iraqi men I met in Jordan last week. Having listened to the tragic and traumatic stories of many Christian refugees there, it is inspiring and moving to hear this talk of forgiveness.

We are now supporting over 1,100 Christian families in Jordan who have been forced to flee Iraq in fear for their lives. They told me how they had left their homes as the forces of so-called Islamic State advanced, how relatives had been kidnapped and murdered and how they had gone from one place to another seeking safety, finally having to leave their own land for the relative peace of Jordan.

Ancient ruins in Amman, the capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

One woman told me of how her father had been kidnapped along with their priest. Both had been murdered. Her father’s body had been left in the street in a nearby town with a sign hung around him saying ‘if you move this body you will be killed’. The murderers didn’t want him to have a Christian burial. Her 17 year old brother had gone in the dead of night to retrieve the body. As she told me this she gently wept. Her husband sat silently with his eyes watering up. Alongside them their two children played with a teddy. We are supporting this young family with food and helping them to pay rent on their tiny and extremely modest flat. Shockingly, in Jordan the Iraqi refugees are not allowed to work, although some do work in the black economy for very meagre wages.

We work with four very different churches in Jordan: Syrian Orthodox, Greek Catholic, Full Gospel Pentecostal, and ‘Nazarene’ evangelical. We provide food and clothing, medical supplies and help with rent payments. We are also providing English lessons and working with others to facilitate trauma counselling.

English lessons in Amman for the Iraqi refugee children

There is so much need and it is growing. Every church is welcoming more refugee families every month! May I implore you to help us in any way you can. We want to help more but can only do so with more funds. As Christmas approaches we want to provide extra special food and some gifts if possible. Each Christmas food parcel for a family costs around £30. We also want to expand one of the churches by renting additional space and establishing a new children’s facility including educational and trauma counselling services. Projected costs of this are around £20,000 in the first year alone and that doesn’t include the back-office support in England. Every donation is appreciated.

Last week in Jordan we distributed food packages to over 500 families 
– two other churches received food vouchers

We will be providing a much longer report on our work in Jordan soon.

Thank you so much for your support whether in prayer, finance or promoting our charity to others. I am available to come and talk to your church about the work we do.Please email the office at office@frrme.org if you would like to discuss this.

To donate please click on this link to our website (there are numerous options for how to donate) or send us a cheque made out to ‘FRRME’ to: FRRME, PO Box 229, Petersfield, Hants, GU32 9DL, United Kingdom

Mike Simpson, CEO FRRME 

16 November 2017
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