It is heart-breaking to think of an innocent child being bullied or attacked. But around the world, many children and young people are the victims of persecution, simply because their families follow Jesus.
Thank you for being family to persecuted children through your gifts and prayers, especially if you give regularly to support our work with children, or you gave to our appeal for children at the end of last year. Open Doors is able to support persecuted children for as long as they need us, and to bring them healing and hope for the future, thanks to the longterm support of their global church family.
Alvaro, Trinity and Anita were victims of a bomb attack on their church in Indonesia, carried out by an Islamic extremist at the end of 2016. Your prayers and support have enabled Open Doors to provide their families with financial help as they continue on the long road to recovery.
Trinity, now four, was in China earlier in the year receiving treatment. “Praise the Lord for her progressive healing, it’s all God’s grace,” said Trinity’s father. Trinity’s mother says, “I am very grateful that we experienced the love and prayers from Open Doors from the beginning.”
Anita, now three years old, suffered the least amount of burns, and the injuries have only left small scars. However, she has been left traumatised by the attack. “It’s very depressing to see her cry and scream ‘I’m scared’ over and over again,” says her mother, Tetty. “All I can do now is surrender to God.” Open Doors staff continue to meet with her and counsel her.
Alvaro, now five, has been undergoing medical treatment in Malaysia. Alvaro’s mother, Novita, says, “I thank God for all your prayers and financial support. As a result, my husband was able to stop work this past year to stay home and help care for Alvaro. This has made a tremendous impact in his healing.”
Please pray for continued healing, both in body and mind, for Alvaro, Trinity and Anita.
A TIME OF FUN FOR WASIHUN
When Wasihun was just seven, his father was killed for his faith in Christ; they are the only Christian family in their village in Ethiopia, and their neighbours were angered when they wouldn’t take part in the rituals of a local traditional religion.
Your support and prayers have enabled Open Doors to support Wasihun and his family ever since this terrible tragedy took place, providing food, trauma care, and school fees for Wasihun and his siblings, and helping his mother, Buze, to start a small business to help her support her family.
Wasihun is now 12. He loves football, and helps his mother care for their cattle. Recently, thanks to your support, Wasihun and his sister, Bachu, were able to attend a youth camp organised by Open Doors for children impacted by persecution in Ethiopia.
An Open Doors youth worker says, “Children and youth experiencing persecution can be greatly encouraged when they know they are not the only ones experiencing difficulties. This programme is also an opportunity for a short time of rest and fun. Through fellowship with others, playing games and learning from the Bible, they had the opportunity to be instruments of the Lord’s healing and encouragement to one another.”
A FAMILY FOR YOUNG PEOPLE THROUGHOUT THE WAR IN SYRIA
In Syria, Open Doors is supporting groups of Scouts for children and teenagers from five years old up to age 19. It might come as a surprise that the Scouts are running in Syria, but here, and in other parts of the Middle East, Scout troops are founded and run by churches. They are not just about young people having fun, exploring nature and doing good deeds – they are also the place where many young people learn about the Bible and decide to commit their lives to Christ.
Being a part of the Scouts has been a source of strength for many young people throughout the years of war in Syria. George is now 17, but he joined the Scouts when he was eight.
He says, “Through the Scouts, the church has been close to us teenagers. They were our pillar during these years of war, supporting us, and working non-stop to serve young people.
“For me, the Scouts are a family I have been living with for nine years.”
Help keep hope alive
Your support and prayers are keeping hope alive for thousands of families in Syria as the war continues, providing vital food aid and medicines, as well as long-term projects such as youth and children’s work and trauma care. You can give to our Syria crisis appeal to help children and young people like George.
Open Doors’ vision is that every child who faces persecution is reached with protection, provision and education. Our secret networks allow our workers to reach children even in the most dangerous places with love and long-term support – and it’s your prayers and gifts that make this work possible. Thank you! Please continue to pray for healing, protection and provision for persecuted children.