The stories coming from refugee camps in the Middle East are heartbreaking. Descriptions of countless refugees packed into overcrowded camps under horrifying conditions are enough to overwhelm anyone. Compassionate Christians cannot help but feel somewhat helpless in the face of such hardship. “What can I possibly do to make a difference? Where do I even start?"
But you and I can make a difference! Please allow me to share what I have learned from Leila* and Amir* (names changed to protect their identities). They are two of our DPM-Middle East workers who traveled to a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon this summer. Their story will encourage you that your prayers and gifts are making a powerful impact, bringing hope to places where hopelessness seems to reign.
God of Hope and Joy
"When we arrived at the camp, I felt overwhelmed," Leila said. "Endless rows of tents; thousands of refugees with little more than the clothes on their back. There was no water, no electricity, barely any food or medical facilities—the problems seemed insurmountable! What could we possibly do to help?"
The refugee crisis in Lebanon is massive. Nearly a quarter of the population—one person in four—is living in a camp. Even so, God is faithful.
By God’s grace, a Korean missionary from Tunisia, Pastor Ji-hoon,* (not his real name) responded to a call years ago and relocated with his family to Lebanon. Having acquired a building next to a refugee camp, Pastor Ji-hoon and his team are demonstrating God’s love through both words and actions. Their work has included organizing crucial food assistance, educating children from the camp, and navigating bureaucratic hurdles. Their open conversations about Jesus have led to follow-up Bible studies. Using Derek’s Self-Study Bible Course in Bible classes has effectively opened up the gospel to Muslims. They are coming to Christ as a result!
Speaking Freely about Jesus
As Leila continued her story, her countenance changed from despair to a glow of hope. “We met some Syrian women who had come to faith in Jesus while living in the camp. In their eyes we saw the difference: they had found their anchor in Him, the One who is deeper than their circumstances.”
Leila is originally from Egypt, where it is forbidden to preach the gospel to Muslims. She was astonished at the opportunity to speak openly about Jesus within the camp. “In Lebanon, there is freedom of religion, unlike in my own country or in Syria. Pastor Ji-hoon has been serving these refugees for so long that he has won their trust. Seeing in him what it means to be a follower of Jesus has opened their hearts to his message of hope.”
How is all this possible? Your unwavering support enables us to stand with our partners, like Leila, Amir, and Pastor Ji-hoon. Thank you for empowering us and them to share God’s life-changing truths, turning despair into hope and lifting lives into new possibilities.
Joy Despite Difficulties
Amir’s assessment sums it up: “The United Nations cannot solve their problems. Only God can.”
“In a Bible study with teens from the camp, we explained the difference that Derek teaches about between happiness and joy. Since God never changes, He is a constant source of true joy. But without a relationship with Him, you cannot find joy in your life, even in the best of circumstances. These people understand that.”
Our team also ministered to women in the camp, many of whom are illiterate. Using DPM’s proclamation cards, they assisted many in memorizing God’s promises. The women's faces brightened as they took these cards to display in their tents, knowing that the comforting words on these cards would be shared with others throughout the camp.
Providing Medical Care
A dedicated group of medical specialists are helping the Derek Prince Ministries team: a pediatrician, a dentist, a pediatric dentist, and an internist. They offer vital medical care, treating everything from smallpox and parasitic worm infections to root canals. The medicines they donate to Pastor Ji-Hoon’s modest pharmacy are deeply appreciated.
Accompanied by our team, they also venture into the tents to personally offer medical care and heartfelt prayers for the people in need. “These visits are not without danger, as some of the Muslims in the camps are hostile to Christians,” Amir observed. “But it is invaluable to meet with the refugees in person.”
“I remember meeting a mother of five teenagers,” Leila said. “Her husband had gone missing during the war, and she had no idea if he was still alive. Here she was, without a husband, without money, and with no prospects for her future. I couldn't change her circumstances. But what I could do was to put my arm around her and pray for her, as her first step forward in life with Jesus—the only One who can give real hope and a real future.”
We know that, especially for refugees, it is hope in God that will make a difference! This is why we continue to reach out with the love of Jesus Christ. In refugee camps in Lebanon and throughout Syria, our DPM-Middle East workers distribute not only Derek's books, but also necessities like blankets and fuel.
The need is urgent, and your support is vital. Would you please join us in reaching the unreached, teaching the untaught, and touching the untouched? Your gift will provide Derek’s vital teachings to Syrian Christians and seekers across the Middle East.
Our team has already started planning their next outreach, which will include additional medical care. Will you be part of the mission?
● Your gift of $50 or more ensures that Derek’s books and vital medicines will reach those in need in Syria.
● Your gift of $40 will help bring messages of hope, through Kurmanji translations and videos, to illiterate Syrian Kurds.
● Your gift of $20 covers the cost of shipping Derek’s books in Arabic, and directly impacts the lives of Syrians and others seeking hope in the Middle East.
Thank you in advance for your gift, which will bring the light of Jesus into the hearts of so many refugees in the Middle East.
Download this Teaching Letter
A free copy of this Teaching Letter is available to download and share for personal use.