In the Middle East, children are often persecuted for their family’s faith before they are even old enough to understand it.
That’s why our local partners in the region have established Centres of Hope. Run through local churches, they support families hit hardest by war and persecution. They give new hope to a new generation.
Image: Children at Sunday School at a Centre of Hope.
These Centres offer programs for children affected by conflict and persecution. Children receive education, trauma counselling, discipleship, and encouragement.
Children also get the opportunity to play organised sports outside – something that they missed out on during times of war.
“The children forgot how to play in freedom and safety,” said one of the organisers. “We thought that if we could get them to the courts, reintroduce them to sports, and try to make them feel safe in an open environment, their lives could change… Their futures could change.”
The program has attracted over 500 boys and girls of all ages. Organisers hope to have 1,500 involved by next year.
The children learn that building spiritual muscles is as important as building physical ones. They also receive their own illustrated Bible.
Image: Boys reading a Children’s Bible.
Learning For Life
“The war had big consequences for us,” said Shadi, who runs a school at a Centre of Hope.
“We saw the number of children attending our school go down from 550 to about 40. We saw the children themselves changing because of the war; it traumatised them.”
Because of the war, many children are behind in their education. To help them catch up, the Centre now offers extra afternoon classes with qualified Christian teachers.
Image: Children in an English Class at a Centre of Hope.
“Several of our children missed four, even five years of school,” said one of the teachers. “Some children feel that they’re abnormal because they cannot read or write. It’s so important to show them that there are many more their age who missed a lot, and that their struggle is completely normal.
“We see the children respond to the extra lessons beyond our expectations. But what even makes me more thankful is to see how some children are now smiling again, how they were healed of some of the trauma that the war caused.”
Hope for Children
The future looks hopeful when children can learn, grow, and reach their full potential. Your ongoing support of Centres of Hope helps to provide a refuge in the rubble, a light in the darkness, and hope in the hardship.
All over the world, your generosity can help children grow up strong in their faith and instil in them a passion to share Jesus. When the next generation of faith leaders is strong, the future looks bright.