SUPPORTING VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE AND DISASTER
...so that they can live independent, fulfilled lives.
"God has changed my story," says Ethiopian Christian Belen.
When Belen's husband rejected her because of her faith, she was able to open a coffee shop to support her family, thanks to the prayers and gifts of Open Doors supporters.
Belen became a Christian through the witness of a friend.
"My life was in ruins," she says. "I struggled with bad dreams and many other things tormented me."
A Christian friend heard about Belen's struggles, and prayed with her. "That night I slept for the first time in seven months. Who would believe that a ten minute prayer would break my heavy yoke?"
Belen decided to follow Jesus . "My lifestyle changed completely," she says. But her new faith came at a great price. Her husband rejected her and their children Dawit (8), Solomon (6), and Ataklti (4). Her brother even took her to court.
Open Doors partners helped her with legal costs and also supported her in starting a coffee shop. It means that the family have an income, and the children are not forced to beg on the streets. Dawit, her eldest son, says: "I am excited that I can learn and I thank God that He is keeping my mother and all of us safe."
"God has changed my story!" says Belen. "Your ministry has helped me significantly… I would have been in prison and my children would have wandered in the streets if you hadn’t reached out to me. Also, if I did not have my business we would have starved."
Open Doors brings practical support to widows, to orphans, to those displaced by violence or natural disaster. Worldwide, last year Open Doors served 403,007 people, with relief aid, livelihood support and community development projects.
- In Eritrea, Open Doors works through local partners to strengthen believers with discipleship, support and practical assistance.
"We have no shortage of food and financial support because of your obedience to support us in all our needs. We are very thankful for that and we hope things will soon change so that we can give thanks to God and gather with you freely in our homeland." – Imprisoned Eritrean believer
- In India 10,285 Christians received practical aid from Open Doors, compared to 3,750 the previous year. The increase is due to increased incidents of persecution.
- In Cameroon, Open Doors helped refugee and displaced Christians through relief aid, encouragement, training of trauma care workers, Bible deliveries, and training.
"We sincerely thank Open Doors because this relief aid has helped us a lot; we pray that God will be with you so that the gospel of Christ will increase. We are very, very happy with the relief." – Recipient of relief aid in North Cameroon
- After an earthquake struck Nepal, Open Doors distributed aid to some 4,000 Christians, many of whom experienced discrimination during relief distribution by government and other agencies.
- In Nigeria, Open Doors partners ministered to women rescued from Boko Haram militants, encouraging the victims through prayer and practical support.
"I wish my eyes could see the people who sent this support to me. I don’t know what to say. One thing I will never forget about this gift is that I have brothers and sisters who care for me and prayed for my rescue. The Lord will shower his blessings on every single person who contributed to this support." – Racheal John, Nigerian Christian woman
- In Niger, churches and Christian properties were destroyed when riots broke out over the Charlie Hebdo cartoon. Open Doors helped those who lost property and possessions .
"I can say we lost everything, but God sent help through Open Doors. This is not only helpful to us Christians but also to the unbelievers who seek assistance and food from us. Jesus taught us to love our enemies and the work of Open Doors is helping us do this." – Pastor Isa Hashim
- In Iraq and Syria, Open Doors partners have been helping Christian refugees and displaced people with micro-loans to set up new businesses. "It relieves me that I am no longer dependent on other people. Please keep supporting us. We have so much more to do." – Edmund, recipient of Open Doors microloan
- In Central Asia, safe houses continued to provide havens for Christians facing persecution and attack.
"Thank you so much for helping me by providing a temporary safe place to live. It is so wonderful to realise that children of God, my Christian family, are ready to come up and help in the midst of terrible circumstances. Thank you so much for praying for me. I know many people have prayed around the world." – Batima, persecuted believer in Central Asia