|World Vision works with Father Daniel to provide the internally displaced people with what they need – food vouchers to buy things they can’t otherwise buy: protein like meat and cheese, and supporting small businesses such as hairdressing, cooking, and tailoring, even a playground for kids who used to play outside in their villages. The children live in cramped quarters with no privacy. They need a place to play.
‘Now draw your dream, I said. I saw pictures of doctors, teachers, singers, and dancers.’
Father Daniel’s new congregation is hungry for healing. “What happened to them was a big trauma,” he says. “They need to be educated on how to deal with this loss. It’s really big. They worked for so many years. They have nothing.” But they need more than just handouts, he says. They need hope. “We are trying to help them be creative,” he says. “Iraqi Christians – when they are persecuted, they become creative. We opened a Child-Friendly Space. We did classes in music, flute, guitar, violin, dancing, drama, and drawing.”
When the children first came to the camp, Father Daniel had them draw their feelings. They drew guns and bombs and war. “I hosted the same drawing exercise after six months,” he says “‘Now draw your dream,’ I said. I saw pictures of doctors, teachers, singers, and dancers.”
“I came home from Iraq feeling ashamed but inspired,” says Costanza. “Would my faith be so strong under so much pressure? Would I still write and take pictures? Would I still appreciate beauty – in people, in music, in art, and in nature? Would persecution pique my creativity? I hope so. When that day comes, I hope I can be like an Iraqi Christian, finding beauty and bravery, being my best – God’s best version of me – in the very worst of times.”
Source: Kari Costanza, World Vision
PS: One way you can make a difference is to support a refugee project with an end of year donation.
Donate to World Vision here or to Syrious Love here.
Joel News – # 1020 , December 20, 2016