winter relief for refugees

Mid-Winter Challenges & Blessings

winter relief for refugee children
This child is from one of the families receiving a heater this winter in a valley area near the Syrian border
As I listen to the wind howling outside our home tonight, I am reminded that hundreds of thousands of refugees are experiencing the same chill of winter in these same mountains this evening.

This month we are mid-winter in the Middle East, but still have several months to go until things truly warm up. Until then, simply staying warm is a top priority for most refugees (and foreigners!) living in this region.

I am thankful that the Lord has provided some of the much-needed winter assistance for the refugees we are trying to help. It was unexpected, but came at just the right time, and was a blessing for them to receive, and us to be able to give.

The refugee women in the main picture above – both Christian and Muslim – are some of the faces of those who have received help so far, and a reminder of those who we must pray for regularly.

refugee family helped this winter
This is one of the more vulnerable refugee families helped with a heater, fuel, blankets and bed mats.
However, we are still also sadly aware that far greater needs still exist, and we are challenged to pray to be able to help even further!

Although many of you reading this (several of whom have likely contributed to help) will never meet these refugees face-to-face, know that they are very thankful that people from the West who don’t even know them are helping their families to survive this winter.

These are small things, but go a long way to show something of the love of Christ to these people who have lost all.

Refugee Winter Relief So Far

winter relief for refugees
These are one of the types of diesel-fueled heaters commonly used by the refugees
Our focus this winter is to primarily help families have at least one heater (fueled by diesel gas) working in their homes to keep warm, and the fuel needed to keep it running through the long winter months.

On some occasions for extremely poor families, we have also sought to provide them with blankets, sleeping mats, and winter clothing that is donated to us. We actually had the former Miss Lebanon winner from the 90s donate a load of clothes for the refugees here last month too!

So far, we have been able to help with the following winter needs:

  • Over 30 diesel fuel heaters distributed
  • 67 families helped with monthly heater fuel
  • Over a dozen clothing bags given out along with boots/shoes
  • Mattresses/blankets for particularly vulnerable families

Just Scratching The Surface

These are only a fraction of the needs we encounter each week out here. We are thankful we can help most of the refugee families in immediate contact with us, as well as another Syrian refugee group being helped by friends of ours in other areas.

winter relief for refugees
A refugee home with one of the heaters in use to heat the whole living space.
Some of the tentative needs we aren’t quite sure may be met, but we can pray towards, are primarily for a large group of 550-600 Syrian and Iraqi refugee families we have contact with, although each week we learn of even more needs such as the following:

  • 500 electric heaters for refugees living in semi-urban areas with more consistent electricity
  • Roughly 1,000 blankets and 500 bed mats for Syrian and Iraqi refugee families
  • Heater fuel for an additional 50 families living in rugged mountain/upper valley areas

We know we can’t help everyone. Even these hundreds of families are still only a small slice of the 11+ million Syrians displaced from their homes over the last five years of war. We are just thankful for the privilege to be able to help those God has put in front of us, and pray we can help beyond that as well. If you want to help in any way, you can find out more here.

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