Chinnor Community Church, High Street, Chinnor, OX39 4DH

Tearfund April Update


Reason for hope after five years of Syrian war

Over the last five years, your generous support has helped thousands of Syrians whose lives have been turned upside down by their country’s civil war.

Zeina is one of them:

‘We really appreciate the food parcels we receive every month. Thank you for supporting us with these,’ said the mother of six, who is a refugee in Lebanon. ‘There are so many things we wouldn’t have bought or would have cut if we didn’t have the parcels from you. Without your help we couldn’t pay for the kids’ medical care. ‘So I would like to say thank you to all of you who support us. If you didn’t help us with this food, we would be in a bad situation right now.’

While the future of Syria remains uncertain, your prayers, donations and messages of encouragement are proving an invaluable source of hope for people like Zeina. Please remain persistent in your prayers for Syria. Basma, a member of staff with one of our partners in Lebanon, explains why:

‘I believe the only thing we can be sure of is that God is in control and all things will work out for good. Our prayers will not fall on deaf ears. And there will be a light after this darkness.’

Please pray:

  • Please pray the fragile truce in Syria, which has been in place since the end of February, builds into a permanent peace.
  • Pray for the 4.8 million Syrians who’ve become refugees, and for our partners providing material, emotional and psychosocial support to many thousands of them.

Iraqi dam danger puts up to a million people at risk

Lack of vital repairs to a dam in Iraq is prompting fears of a major disaster if it collapses.

The Mosul dam was built 30 years ago, and has needed round-the-clock maintenance since then because materials used for the foundations are porous and easily dissolve in water. Water has been seeping from the dam since that time and it’s estimated between 500,000 to 1 million people could perish if the structure gives way.

Kathleen Rutledge, Tearfund’s Middle East Director, who is based in Iraq, said, ‘If the Mosul Dam fails in the manner and scale that is feared, the loss of life could be among the highest of any single natural event in the last century. It could kill more than double the number of people who perished in the Asian Tsunami in 2004, and leave a trail of destruction down the middle of Iraq, from the north to Baghdad.

‘Action is needed to ensure repairs are fully resourced by the government and happen immediately. Action is also needed by the international NGO community to be ready for this potential disaster. Tearfund is preparing to help respond to the humanitarian needs of affected persons should the dam fail and cause the catastrophic losses predicted.’

Please pray:

  • Give thanks the Iraqi government has signed a contract with an Italian firm to start reinforcement and maintenance work, but pray for viable evacuation plans to be put in place for those living nearby if disaster strikes.
  • Pray for families in the potential flood path, for their safety and that they would have the resources, will and freedom to relocate.
  • Pray for the millions of Iraqis and refugees already suffering from the protracted war in the country, for their basic needs to be met.

Terror in Ivory Coast

The West African nation of Ivory Coast is on alert after 19 people died in a terrorist attack on a beach.
The President of Ivory Coast declared three days of national mourning, and urged the Ivorian people to come together and not give in to fear.

Tearfund staff and partners were not directly affected by the incident. Richard Yao, our country representative in Ivory Coast, said, ‘God is with us as a country and we are confident that God will not forsake us.’

Please pray:

  • Please pray for those who were affected by the attacks, those who have lost loved ones and those who were injured. Pray for God’s comfort for them and for peace to reign over their minds.
  • We are thankful to God that none of our staff and partners were harmed and our work in the country was not directly affected by the attacks, but pray for God’s continued protection for our staff and partners.

Lent Reflection

Father, we pray for people who have lost their homes and their livelihoods due to the impacts of conflict. We reflect that each one of these people is loved by you and made in your image. You call us to weep with those who weep and mourn with those who mourn. We pray for your way of peace to transform these challenging places, and pray the words from Psalm 107 that you will deliver troubled people from distress. In the name of Jesus,

John GravettTearfund Representative

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *