SUPPORTING VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE AND DISASTER
...so that they can live independent, fulfilled lives.
"Thank you for thinking about our city and being willing to help us."
These were the words of church leader Gabriel* at the opening of a new factory in Syria. During the weeks leading up to this, several bombs had rocked the city - a city that had already suffered so much in the Syrian war. But on this day, the church leader opened a brand new furniture factory. It was a sign of hope amidst the five-year darkness of war.
Soon after the start of the Syrian war, Open Doors, through local churches and organisations, began supporting many thousands of families with food packages, hygiene packs, winter supplies, rent subsidies, medicine and even medical help. This continues today.
In the midst of this humanitarian disaster there are still people thinking of the future. Like the church Open Doors partnered with to start the furniture factory. They came with a good business plan for a furniture factory and we decided to join them in making their dream a reality. Over thirty people, both men and women, are now able to have a paid job in the factory, providing an income for a similar number of families. The project is expected to positively impact the local socio-economic market dynamics. Because these people have jobs and an income, this will motivate them to remain in the city. Starting businesses in the country might also encourage people to return to Syria.
Open Doors brings practical support to widows, to orphans, to those displaced by violence or natural disaster. Worldwide, Open Doors served 879,000 persecuted Christians last year, through relief aid, livelihood support and community development projects.
- In Aleppo, Syria, one of our church partners dug a well to provide desperately-needed clean drinking water. Now the well produces 10,000 litres of water per day, and serves some 500 families each day.
"We saw the need of the people and we couldn't keep quiet and wait." - Syrian church leader
- In Nigeria, Open Doors partners are supporting thousands of widows, orphans and internally displaced Christians. Over 103,000 Christians in sub-Saharan Africa received practical support thanks to Open Doors supporters.
"This assistance has strengthened my faith in Christ. It has made me take Jesus by His Word that says He will never leave me nor forsake me. To those who gave me this assistance, I do not have anything to give or tell you that can describe how happy I am. May the Lord's favour never depart from you." - Anna Moses, Nigerian believer
- Thanks to Open Doors supporters, vital relief aid was given to over 60,000 North Korean Christians last year.
"When we received your materials and support, we were filled with Jesus' love and grace. We are passionate to help the underground church in North Korea and feel so thankful for what you have done. We - underground believers - are weak and powerless. However, through your support and prayers, we become stronger." - North Korean believer
- In Iraq, Open Doors partners provided portacabins to strengthen the body of Christ
"Our tent was destroyed by a big storm a few weeks ago. We used the tent for everything, for church activities and also the kindergarten and social gatherings. So I am happy that your organisation is now helping us to build a cabin." - Thabet, church leader in Iraq.
- In Bangladesh, Open Doors helps to organise a special Christmas for Christian families from a Muslim background.
"Through this event, I was able to understand the meaning of our Lord's birth. In fact, this was the first time we have been able to celebrate Christmas!" Tipu Sultan, participant.
- In Ethiopia, after her husband was murdered, Open Doors visited Sintayehu, and organised a letter-writing campaign to comfort and encourage her. She also participated in an Open Doors trauma counselling seminar and received practical and financial support.
"The major thing for a family like ours is a house to dwell in… God bless you. It's a great thing for me to get a house where I could rest."