Leka is one of thousands of Iraqi Christian refugees in Jordan shining a light in the darkness of this pandemic. On her donated sewing machine, she’s making masks so that hundreds of families can safely leave their homes and attend church. Leka and her team of mask-making heroes have brought joy and protection to their refugee community.

Watch Leka, our ‘Sewing Sister’ speaking from her sewing-station-home in Madaba

Leka’s Story

6 years ago, Leka and her family fled Qaraqosh, northern Iraq in blind terror. 4 years ago, they arrived in Jordan. 

Qaraqosh had been their safe haven. Surrounded by many different religions, It was a place where Christians could live in relative peace, running businesses, sending their children to school and free to practice their religion.

Like many Christians, Leka did not want to leave Iraq, and hoped to stay a short time in Kurdistan. However, with no jobs, homes, security or hope, she and her family left for Jordan in August 2016.

Jordan was to be a temporary dwelling place; somewhere Leka and her husband Salem and three children could get their bearings. For Leka it is also very important to practice her Christian faith and she attends the Revival Full Gospel Church in Madaba.

Above: The congregation at the Full Gospel Church gathering for the first time in months.

FRRME supports 120 refugee families at the church with monthly food vouchers and much other practical help. Last year we opened our first Olive Tree Centre in Madaba, providing a safe place for the refugees to get support.

It is through the church and The Olive Tree Centre that Leka and her family have begun to receive Hope, Help and Healing to rebuild their lives. Last week we shared how Leka is co-ordinating the mask-making efforts with a donated sewing machine. We call them our Mask Heroes of Madaba!

Leka’s love in action has meant that for the first time in 3 months Iraqi refugees could safely gather together. Thanks to her sewing skills, all the refugees were given a mask, making it safe and legal for them to go to church last Sunday. This act of love has meant so much to the Iraqi Christians of the Full Gospel Church in Madaba.

“The sewing mask project is a huge blessing. We are so happy that refugees like Leka can help keep the community safe! The masks make it so the refugees can attend Church, and also help keep everyone protected from Coronavirus. They are so happy to be able to contribute to the community during these difficult times. Thank you FRRME!”

Um Rama, a Jordanian Christian who attends the Church

Children and the elderly are not allowed outside yet.

Leka, our Sewing Sister is making masks for them too, ready for the time when they may also venture out of their homes.

Above: Women at the first church service for months wearing the face masks sewn by the refugees, and masks ready for everyone outside the church, fashioned by Leka.

Resilience, compassion and creativity

“The mask-making project has enabled the refugees we support to actively serve & protect their community during a very difficult time. This project, sewing masks out of recycled material by refugees for refugees (as well as for poor Jordanians), is an example of the compassion and creativity of the refugee community. They’ve endured, and continue to endure so much, yet remain positive, grateful and with an unwavering faith. It is truly inspiring!”

Helena Scott, Our Jordan Country Director

Spreading God’s Love in Jordan

There are currently an estimated 60,000 Christian refugees in Jordan. Our relief work in partnership with four churches in Jordan currently supports 7,818 Iraqi refugees. 800 more people have been helped in the last 12 months. The need is growing. FRRME funds monthly food packages, accommodation support and medicines as well as educational support through English classes, trauma therapy sessions and much much more.