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04/08/2019 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – “If I could [have] but one privilege in my life, it would be this,” said Kirolos, International Christian Concern’s Hope House Center Coordinator.

We started Hope House because we wanted to break the cycle of persecu­tion and change persecuted communi­ties. Most of our ministry to the per­secuted exists to bandage the victims. That work will never end for us or any organization focused on persecution.

Yet, we wanted to change the dynamic on the ground so that Christian communities would move forward and out of persecution.

Much of persecution is tied to generational poverty that’s linked to job discrimination, poor education, and lack of access to capital. So we focus on those factors.

Three years later, Egypt’s Hope House has exceeded our expectations.

Our core focus is on education for the next generation. For efficiency, we didn’t want to start schools (very expensive and long-term). Therefore, we focused on after-school programs centered on learning English, proper Arabic, math, and computer skills. Underlying all of this, we build up the students spiritually.

With well over 100 students regularly attending last year, Hope House is having a real impact on the lives of many children.

Seven-year-old Jesse is one of the many students currently thriving at Hope House. Jesse’s father is forced to travel to Kuwait for work to provide for Jesse’s mother and two sisters, a sad result of Egypt’s shrinking job market. Left alone in Upper Egypt, the family of Christian women faces constant pressure from their hardline Muslim neighbors.

Hope House has given Jesse wings, enabling her to look past the social stigma against Christians and dream big for the future that awaits. “I have learned how to read and write better,” she said. She is one of the best performing students in her grade and aspires to become a doctor when she grows up.

Jesse’s story is consistent with many other students attending Hope House.

Stay tuned for Part 2, coming tomorrow.

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