Thank you so much for all of your prayers and gifts for persecuted Christian children during our Christmas appeal last year. You have brought comfort and joy to thousands of children around the world! Here are just a few ways…
In India, Open Doors partners run ‘bridge schools’ for children who struggle with studies at school. One local partner, David*, shares, “Most of the children who attend these tuition classes are from persecuted families. These children often have to help their family with chores in the household; in some cases, they also work part of the day to help their family earn a little extra money.
“All this makes it difficult for them to cope with studies at school. Their family members are also mostly uneducated and so are not able to support them.”
In many instances, these difficulties lead to children dropping out of school as their families can’t afford it. This impacts the future earning and livelihoods of vulnerable Christians, many of whom are in India’s lowest social castes.
“These free tuition centres have helped several Christian children to do better at school and understand the value of education,” adds David. “In the bridge schools, we not only provide help with their school studies, but we also provide them with biblical moral guidance and supply them with necessary stationery material, sports equipment, and other school items.”
When visiting schools, Open Doors partners also discovered some families in desperate need of food, because of Covid-19, and were able to provide this. David says, “We found out that they didn’t have sufficient food because they had no work, as most of the families were daily wage workers. So, we arranged for a trip to these tuition centres where we spent time with them, praying and doing some fun activities. We met in very small groups [due to Covid restrictions]. We also visited the houses of these children, where we also provided grocery packets to their families.
“In one family there were four children, and when we gave them the groceries, the entire family got down on their knees and thanked the Lord for the provision. The youngest girl led everyone in prayer, saying: ‘Thank you Lord; You provided us this food in time of need. We are so happy now as there will be no more scarcity of food in our house.’”
Your prayers and gifts also meant that 26,000 children’s Bibles were distributed to thousands of children in Syria over the Christmas season! Thank you.
And in Nigeria, Open Doors partners were able to visit and catch up with the four Christian boys who were among the students kidnapped from their school and subsequently released in December 2020. Hanna*, one of Open Doors’ local partners, shares, “The parents were very thankful for our visit, the money we gave them to help them with supplies, and the children’s Bibles we gave the boys.”
“These free tuition centres have helped several Christian children to do better at school and understand the value of education”'David'
In December, Open Doors partners in Central Asia travelled to remote mountainous areas to distribute Christmas presents to children. They shared that the trip was hard, because of the weather conditions and local features, but really blessed. One of the team says, “We distributed 500 Christmas gifts in the area where people never heard about Jesus and the children never got presents for Christmas and New Year. We organised celebrations in schools – songs, performances and games.”
However, difficulties soon arose. The partner explains, “In one of the schools, officers from local security services came and arrested our team. We were detained in the prison cell for several hours and threatened with imprisonment for ‘illegal religious activity with children’. But thank God, after several hours we were released; we just paid a fine and left that place.”
Praise God that He was able to work that situation for good! Thank you so much for your support – these children and so many more are growing stronger physically and spiritually because of you. Please keep praying for them, their families and the Open Doors partners supporting them.
While physical travel might be on hold due to Covid-19 restrictions, children can pray their way around the countries of the 2021 World Watch List using their very own Prayer Passport and map!
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.