Double the size of the Diaper program – Is it possible!

 by William J. Murray – Program Director 

Chairman William Murray traveled to Iraq to help with the diaper deliveries and distributions in June.

Our ministry partners in Iraq have pleaded with me to expand the diaper program. In December of 2017 they made an urgent request to increase the quarterly shipment of diapers from 160,000 to 180,000 and to increase the number of adult diapers and feminine sanitary pads.

I had closed our fundraising for the program in July of 2017 as I thought our goal for the year had been met. The increase in need presented a problem. By the grace of God, unsolicited donations to the Diapers for Refugees were received in December allowing the program to be expanded.

Double the program? During 2016 and 2017 diapers were being supplied to the families “most in need.” Many families in the refugee camps in Ankawa and Erbil we did not help with diapers were able to “get by.” Now, many of those families have moved back to their devastated towns including Qaraqosh where the only water available is bottled water for drinking. Washing cloth diapers is not possible and now the need for the disposable diapers we furnish has drastically increased.

The hard facts: The numbers in our diaper program sound big. But, the Diapers for Refugees program provides for just six diapers per day for 300 of the Christian families with infants and toddlers that are in the most need. As they return to the destroyed homes in their villages without access to other aid, the number of families needing help with diapers now exceeds 600. That is double the number our Diapers for Refugee program now assists.

To help those Christian families most in need the program must be doubled from 160,000 diapers per quarter to 320,000 diapers per quarter, YES – The number sounds high but it is just six diapers per day for three months per child. Younger infants receive more, toddlers less but the average is just six per day or 180 per month for each child in need.

In addition, our program must supply feminine pads for the mothers and adult diapers for some of the elderly.

Please add these families to your prayers. To double the program would be an enormous task. Please pray that the Lord will give guidance as to how to proceed with the diaper program.

If possible, please help us get a good start on the 2018 Diapers for Refugees program. The program must continue even if we are not able to expand. Pray the Lord will guide us. 

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Major problems for our Iraqi missions programs

By William J. Murray, Chairman

Girls hold diapers distributed by our Diapers for Refugees program

Girls hold diapers distributed by our Diapers for Refugees program

The general manager of the ministry that carries out our programs in Iraq is currently in the United States and may not be able to return to his base in Erbil except by dangerous means.

He and his wife (for security reasons I cannot use names) arrived in the United States on a special visa the last week of September. The purpose of their travel was to speak with the various ministries in the United States who support them and their organization in Erbil, which is located in the Kurdish region of Iraq.

While they were in Washington, DC I arranged an off-the-record meeting for Maher with an official with the State Department, and with other ministry organizations that can help them. I also arranged meetings with Senate offices on Capitol Hill.

On September 25th the Kurds held an “independence vote.” The Kurdish voters overwhelmingly voted to create an independent state. The reaction of the Iraqi government was to close the borders of Kurdistan and shut down airline operations into the Kurdish region including the Erbil airport.

Bottom line: The airline tickets they  have to return to Erbil cannot be used to fly to Erbil.

They can, at a cost, change the tickets to fly into Baghdad but then would have to make a very perilous journey of 400 kilometers from Baghdad to Erbil by ground transportation. Currently the routes go through areas that are not totally safe from Jihadists and bandits.

Please pray for Christian workers in Kurdistan and all the areas of Iraq. They work hard to minister to the persecuted Christians of the Nineveh Plain.

How will our Christmas program be affected?:  This will be the sixth year of RFC’s Christmas program. This year we will be our sixth year in Jordan, our fifth year in Lebanon and our third year in Iraq. Each year I have been at each location to oversee the program.

As of now I have no way to get into Iraq for Christmas.  Until now, I could fly directly into the Kurdish region without an Iraqi visa. Now, because there are no direct flights to Erbil, I would have to fly to Baghdad first, which would require an Iraqi visa. The Iraqi government is NOT issuing visas to those who state their destination is in Kurdistan.

[su_button url=”http://christmasforrefugees.org/donate/”]Please help a Christian refugee child have a real Christmas[/su_button]

Worse, the Kurdish and Iraqi armies that together were fighting the Islamic State are now squared off against each other in the oil rich Kirkuk Governorate. The Iraqi Army has already pushed the Kurds out of the city of Kirkuk proper. Please pray that this situation with the Kurds and Iraqis is resolved without a full-scale war in which the Christians will suffer the most.

As of today, we are still able to get supplies into Iraq from Turkey, but we do not know how long that will last. I have sent some funds to our partners in Iraq to purchase in advance some items needed for the Christmas program. We can probably obtain everything needed in the next few weeks except the food for the meals at the Christmas events for the children.

Please pray for the Christians of the Nineveh Plain, particularly the children who have suffered so much already.

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