Around the world, our neighbors in the most forsaken communities are suffering. Each week in Advent, join us to learn more about the urgent needs of our neighbors around the world, and how you can reach out to love and care for them. God bless you and yours this Advent season.
Amal al Hilabi didn’t set out to become a hero. She just wanted to help.
She lives in Saida, Lebanon, where many Syrian families have taken refuge from the ongoing conflict and humanitarian crisis.
"The economy of Lebanon has made life harder on everyone," says al Hilabi. "Especially refugees."
Seeing that many families had no way to support themselves, al Hilabi decided to take action, inviting some women to her kitchen to help her prepare food to sell.
"My mission is for anyone who wants to work to be able to come and work."
Refugee families face many challenges to stay alive
By definition, a refugee is a person who has crossed an international border out of fear of persecution. Strangers in their new communities, and often with only the clothes on their backs, many families suffer crippling poverty that leads to hunger as opportunities to work and earn money in host communities can be scarce.
For refugee women, charged with caring for the home and children, those challenges can be even greater.
To help ease the women’s burdens, al Hilabi opens her kitchen during school hours, so the women can work as well as balance their other responsibilities.
The women make traditional Lebanese dishes, like stuffed grape leaves and kibbeh. During the pandemic, when restaurants largely closed, the women kept working hard to meet increasing demand. Your love and gifts have provided a commercial oven and pastry machine so they can keep up the pace and continue earning income that is vital to their families' survival.
Pray with us for displaced families around the world
We give thanks for women like Amal al Hilabi for loving and caring for neighbors in need, and you for helping to keep her kitchen running. There are so many displaced families around the world who have nothing. They are poor, they are hungry, they are far from home. Please join us for praying for them. Especially now, in the midst of a global pandemic, our neighbors need our love, care, prayer and help.
God of Expectations and Questions, be with us. We desire to be of service to others. We hope to offer what we have. Yet, our hearts can be guarded at times. Open our hands to give. Help us to release our time and money in service to our neighbors. Teach us to share and to lavish blessings on those we meet. We pray all this in the name of Jesus, the One who meets all our expectations and showers us with love. Amen.
Reach out with love and care to neighbors in need
Around the world, displaced families are hungry and suffering. Your love can care for them by:
- Welcoming displaced and refugee families and helping them get connected to the critical services they need
- Providing shelter, supplies and other essential needs so families can start to rebuild their lives
- Your love can be a ray of light in the darkness. Give a Christmas gift to neighbors in need and share your blessings with families with the very least.