Operation Safe Havens: 693 refugees from Syria and Iraq rescued by Barnabas Aid; 27 more about to fly to Australia - can you help?
"If it was not for Barnabas Aid, we would still be stuck”
Ghassan with his wife and three children fled their beloved Syria for Lebanon in March 2014, “surrounded by the armed rebels and under a rain of rockets”. Life in Lebanon, where over a million refugees make up one-fifth of the country’s population, was a constant struggle. The family used all their money just to survive, but there was no going back to Syria.
They managed to get a humanitarian visa to Australia but could not afford the air fare.
Many Christians like Ghassan’s family are trapped in the Middle East; some are caught up in the fighting in Aleppo and elsewhere, some are displaced within their own countries, and still others are living as refugees. All are victims, not simply of the civil war in Syria or the insurgency in Iraq but also of the anti-Christian genocide being carried out by IS and other rebel groups. They cannot live in the camps run by the international aid agencies because of Islamist persecution.
“Australia was our final hope”
Even though Ghassan and his family had their visa for Australia, they were trapped. They had little money to live on and it seemed that they could never hope to get the funds together to reach Australia. When Ghassan was put in touch with Barnabas Aid and learned that their air fares would be covered, he says his family felt they were blessed by God. “If it was not for [Barnabas Aid],” he adds, “we would still be stuck in Lebanon.”
“We love our new country!”
“Since the day of our arrival in Australia, we felt so lucky,” continues Ghassan. The children are benefiting from Australia’s education system, and the government support for refugees means the family do not have the stresses and strains of living in poverty as they did in Lebanon.
More Christian Syrian and Iraqi refugees need rescuing – will you help them?
The story of Ghassan and his family shows how Operation Safe Havens is turning people’s lives round from the torment of living in a war zone or the wretchedness of life as a refugee to the joy of a new start in a safe, secure and welcoming country beyond the Middle East.
Barnabas Aid has so far helped Ghassan’s family, and many like them, to escape the dangers of the Middle East to establish new homes in five safe and secure countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic and Poland. Thank you for your generous donations which have made this possible.
Will you help to provide a new start for families like Ghassan’s? To date, Barnabas Aid has rescued 693 Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Of these 423 have gone to Australia. Another 27 should be ready to fly there by the end of this week.
Please continue to help provide a safe, secure home for Christian refugees from Syria and Iraq.
Can you, your home group or church contribute to airfares to rescue more Christians?
The door is still open to get Syrian and Iraqi Christians to Australia. Visas have been granted. The airfare averages around $637 per person. Please help.
If you would like to make a gift to rescue Christians in danger, please direct your donation to Operation Safe Havens (project 00-1199).
If you prefer to call, please phone:
703 288 1681 or 1 866 936 2525
If you prefer to send a cheque by mail: Click this link for the address of our regional office. Please quote project reference Operation Safe Havens (project 00-1199).
What is Operation Safe Havens?
Barnabas Aid has launched Operation Safe Havens to rescue Christians in danger and to resettle them with dignity.
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