Education Assistance Program UpdateThank you to the many people who offered to sponsor Syrian students for the Education Assistance Program this 2016-2017 school year. The Lord provided sponsors for all the children so far, giving us 21 sponsored students as of today. If you still were interested to participate in this and commit to sponsoring a student – praying for them, writing to them, and helping them cover their monthly school transport costs – there are about a half dozen new children from new families that are asking for help for their children to go to school as well. If you are interested in sponsoring a child for this program, there is still opportunity to do so, please contact us about it.
In addition to helping the students with transportation to and from the UN schools, we are also providing volunteers three mornings a week to give direct, one-to-one tutoring with the students on their spoken English (UN schools are English-based) and also homework help with math, chemistry, physics and other fun school subjects! If you graduated highschool, you are qualified to help too if you want to volunteer!
Medical Assistance Update
In addition to the education assistance and food relief efforts to help the refugees, we are also increasingly helping them with pressing medical needs. Often, that means visiting them in their homes when they are very sick, doing weekly vitals check-ups (we’ve had several medical people helping out here, and I am still an actively licensed Paramedic), taking them to the hospital (we have a hospital run almost weekly now for tests, consults or even surgeries), and buying the elderly or sick the prescribed medicines they need.
One old Muslim woman told us a few weeks ago “I know your religion is a true religion, because you came to visit me when I was so sick yesterday!” She thought she was dying that day we saw her, and she needed some aggressive management of her condition to avert hospitalization or worse, but by God’s grace and some consultation with the doctor back in the USA, she stabilized and is back to helping take care of her family.
We are seeing a steadily increasing need among people for basic medicines, and many difficult cases where people need surgery or hospitalization for various conditions. We are trying to fill medical requests weekly at this stage, and it has become one of the biggest avenues of compassionate outreach, as well as one of the most time/resource consuming area in the refugee relief work out here. Some examples of active, recent or unmet needs:
- A father needs urgent heart surgery or he will likely die this month and leave behind his wife and children to fend for themselves as refugees
- A young mother needs eye surgery for a painful condition
- A grandmother raising her grandkids (parents are imprisoned in Syria) needs surgery from torture-related injuries so she can see again from one eye
- Another young mother needs gallbladder surgery urgently
- An older woman may have thyroid cancer and might need surgery
The list could go on, as the needs here are only growing daily. Pray!
Winter Is Coming
Last year’s winter was difficult for the refugees. When they barely have money for food, finding enough for heating oil, blankets and jackets is a challenge. On top of that, most of the work the refugees do to try to earn enough to live (construction, painting, manual labor jobs) are not there in the winter, making them especially vulnerable in this time.
We are thankful last winter the Lord provided enough to help a hundred families with heating oil, and warm clothes/jackets for dozens. Pray there might be similar provision this winter! If you want to help in any way, you can find out more here.