Breaking a 1,000 Year Cycle of Poverty
02/17/2021 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Job discrimination, lack of education, and poverty are just a few of the issues facing persecuted believers around the world. As you can imagine, the suffering that these believers have endured because of COVID-19 has been even more devastating, as many of them have lost their jobs as a result.
Enter Mina, an eleven-year-old boy in the Middle East. Mina loves to go to church, and even at such a young age, he lives out his faith at a very high cost. When Mina’s father lost his job, he was forced to go to work as a farm laborer to provide for his family. ICC provides education for Christian children like Mina who are stuck on the bottom rungs of society through Hope House. We disciple, educate, and provide for the kids and give them a chance to have a completely different life!
We were able to give Mina a chance to continue his education even in the midst of this difficult time for his family. Watch the video above to see how we turned Mina’s entire story around.
If you would like to be a part of this amazing project, give here: https://www.persecution.org/initiatives/hope-house/
You know, the past year has been pretty tough on everybody because of COVID. No big news flash there. But you know, in the persecuted world, it’s really at a different level, and I want to break that down for you. In the persecuted world, Christians live as third-class citizens. This is especially true in Muslim cultures. That means you’re probably working as a day laborer. What happens when COVID hits? The economy is destroyed, and there’s no labor, and you’re a day laborer. There’s no work.
Here’s a real-world story: Let’s look at Mina. Mina’s an 11-year-old boy in Egypt. His father is a day laborer, and COVID hit, and the dad lost his job. Now, Mina is an energetic kid. He loves school, he loves church, he loves to sing, and he lives out his faith at a very high cost in the community. A lot of discrimination, right?
When Dad lost his job, the family did what they had to do to stay and survive. They pulled Mina from school, and they sent him to work on a farm as a farm laborer. That’s a rational decision because, again, in these cultures, the education is terrible almost by design. And then, along with that, there’s job discrimination, so there’s really no hope.
In fact, Mina’s teacher even said to him, “you should go work. You should forget about school.” Now that is crazy because everyone knows that in poverty that the way out is through education in any society unless there’s this trap. And that’s where ICC comes in, and that’s why we produced Hope House. I came up with this concept because we wanted to take kids and make them more employable.
This is a cycle in Egypt that has gone on for over a thousand years. In some ways, it’s the worst part of persecution because we can’t fix it. Now you can put band-aids on broken bodies. This system, we can’t fix unless we do something radically difficult. And we don’t build massive schools, that would take forever, and it’s too long.
We take them after school, and we put them into programs where we give them a short, tight education window. It’s something that’s going to make them very employable. SO we teach them proper Arabic, their own language. We teach them English, which makes them highly marketable. We teach them math, it’s all the basics, and we disciple the kids.
Think about what it means to be a Christian in this society where to be a Christian means—you’re often called dogs. You’re scum. Your faith is wrong. It’s blasphemous. So we teach them, you are called to something high, you are a child of the King. It’s radically different by design, but it gets to the roots and the core of persecution.
You know what we see in the persecuted world when a church is attacked, that’s the leaves, that’s the branches. But the roots I’m describing.
Mina is now involved in Hope House. He wants to break the cycle of poverty that his family has lived in for over a thousand years. He wants to become a police officer.
If you’d like to get involved in a kid’s life and take him out of that cycle of poverty and give him hope, get involved with us. Get involved in Hope House. God Bless.