‘Crisis really affects kids. The Syrian War is no exception. After more than 6 years of conflict, one by-product is that close to half a million refugee kids in Lebanon and Jordan are not in school now, and many of them have never been to school. In Lebanon, only 3% of the 15-18 year old Syrian Refugee kids were enrolled in a secondary school. What future might we expect for these kids?
One of our partner’s in Lebanon’s Bekka Valley has seen these unengaged kids as an opportunity to integrate Great Commandment and Great Commission ministry. First, they set up a ministry center and created a safe place for kids and families to come to learn and play. They provide lessons several day a week in Arabic, English, basic Math, Bible and recess time for kids, and also offering a variety of classes for women including family dynamics, Bible and health related topics. Prayer is offered daily, and in addition, the Jesus Film is shown periodically. This ministry is bearing fruit…kids are learning, women are growing, and the Holy Spirit is effecting eternal life transformation. (click to read more about a recent ‘Seed of Hope)
But the ministry was limited to only those kids nearby, and by the capacity of the ministry center facility and staff. The leader, Philip*, said to me recently, “There are 750,000 Syrian refugees located in several thousand informal camps in the Bekka. How can we reach them all? What if we could take school to them?”. And thus was born the idea of ‘micro-education outreach’, to effect transformation through education.
Philip has now launched five micro-education sites. He said, “We are seeing a great harvest by facilitating the ‘Micro Schools’. It is our ‘foot in the door’ of the camp communities. Through the relationships with the families, we build trust and God opens their hearts and ears to the Gospel.
Most of the camps are small, with anywhere from a few families to several dozen families. He asks the leader of the group of families to provide space in one of their tents to house the school. Typically this is a plastic of metal enclosed space, about 8′ or 10’x10′ in size, and where the family sleeps. They move their belongings out of the way to make room for Micro-School.
For each Micro-School, he then recruits an unemployed Syrian teacher, and apprentices that teacher each morning into the teaching approach and content, including Bible lessons, happening at the main ministry center, and also engages the teacher in a discovery type discipleship group. Then every afternoon, the teachers disperse to the camps and host homes. It’s a small start, with only about eighty kids, but God is at work.
This was the report from a recent follow up visit with the families participating in Mirco-School #3:
There are 3 generations living together in the tent. We had to wait until the smoke cleared out of the room that we were going to use to show the movie. They smoke in their tent was quite thick when we arrived. So we were invited to the room next door and met with the grandparents and extended family and was introduced to everyone. We were told who belonged to who and which children belong to which parents. The children were so excited to have us there and showed off their English skills!
At the start of the movie, we had all the men there with us, which is the main goal of why we are visiting the homes in the evening, to engage the men. If you get the man, you get the family – 99% of the time. So we were blessed to have them with us. About 30 minutes into the movie, the men began getting restless. They were called outside by friends, had to go smoke, etc…short attention spans.
About half way through the movie, God did a miracle. A young girl, (Fatima), went to sit by Philip* and told him her ear was hurting and she was starting to cry. Philip* prayed for her ear to stop hurting. The pain was less, so he prayed again and it was even less, He prayed again and it was completely gone!! Praise God! She was able to finish the movie.
After the movie, we discussed it with them and asked if they wanted to pray to ask Jesus into their hearts and everyone that was remaining said “yes”. We prayed with 4 adults and 5 children to receive Christ. Kim was also was able to pray with the women and girls laying hands on them and imparting grace to them.
Since then we have been committed to a follow-up visit and Bible study meeting at their tent on a regular basis.
Please pray for three specific things:
- God would supply more workers to start more Micro-Schools.
- His people would provide the financial and other resources needed to add 50 more Micro-Schools in the next 18 months. Each school costs about #500 to start and $200 per month to sustain.
- The Holy Spirit would continue to draw these Islamic background people to Himself.
Learn more at https://go.efca.org/resources/project/refugees-crisis