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From November 2014 to May 2015, Lutheran Hour Ministries-Lebanon served about 4,500 Syrian and Iraqi refugees with food aid while witnessing and sharing the Gospel. Now the ministry will be able to further expand its efforts to destitute people living in poverty-stricken refugee camps thanks to two grants awarded during the month of June.

First, LHM received a second round of partnership funding from The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod's Mercy Operations in the amount of $150,000. LCMS Mercy Operations originally provided LHM with a gift of $70,000 in September 2014. In addition to continuing to reach and change the lives of Muslim refugees living in small camps throughout the Bekaa Valley region of eastern Lebanon near Syria, this second round of funding will help expand relief efforts to Christian brothers and sisters living in refugee camps in Kurdistan, Iraq, after fleeing their homeland due to persecution by the Islamic State.

LHM will address spiritual needs by forming personal relationships with each refugee over time and will provide Arabic-language materials such as a New Testament and a Bible Correspondence Course booklet, "The Life of Christ," or an Arch Book for children. Special attention will be given to restoring normalcy among the vulnerable children who lack formal education and struggle with fear and stress as a result of the high levels of violence they witnessed back home.

Then, at the Lutheran Women's Missionary League Convention in Des Moines, Iowa, Lutheran Hour Ministries had its proposal for $72,000 fully funded for the 2015-2017 biennium. This project was one of 33 on the ballot, and the LWML approved funding for 19 of them. Money received for the "Mission Outreach to At-Risk Women and Children in Refugee Camps—Lebanon" project will:

• share the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ to the Muslim Arabic-speaking people and form relationships that enable LHM to freely and personally share God's Word through outreach meetings and events;
• provide relief to the women and children in the refugee camps with basic humanitarian supplies including food staples and hygiene kits so that they can live with dignity; and
• influence long-term growth and expansion of the Gospel to destitute women and children living in refugee camps now and after they return to their country.

"We can't predict when life in these places will become stable again," says LHM Director of International Ministries Rev. Dr. Douglas Rutt. "But we can do what Jesus commends in Matthew 25: 'I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you clothed me.' Because we have this kind of support, we can significantly enhance the help, healing and hope that we have been bringing in the face of violence and spiritual darkness."

We thank God for the generosity of LCMS Mercy Operations and the Lutheran Women's Missionary League, and pray that He will continue to bless our outreach to Muslims and Iraqi Christians through the efforts of our Lebanon ministry center.

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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