Child Sponsorship: Hope House Versus Persecution Mentality

03/02/2021 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern)Since Hope House launched in 2017, hundreds of Egyptian Christian children have benefited from its programming. One of the recent beneficiaries is seven-year-old Mina Iskharoun. His life and family experiences are quintessential examples of why Hope House began and what goals it seeks to fulfill. Persecution of Christians in Egypt is a centuries-old occurrence and though the level of persecution can at times be subtle, the effects trickle down from generation to generation. Present-day Mina may see these effects of persecution and even deem them as tradition.

Mina is the youngest of five children, born to two Christian parents. He loves going to Sunday school and worship at church. But Mina needs some help understanding what a servant’s heart means. He says, “I don’t do any duties at my house. I am a man! So I don’t have to sweep and clean the floor or do the laundry.”

His father is the only breadwinner for the family but has struggled with securing consistent income, especially since the coronavirus pandemic began. Mina’s health has also been affected by the family’s lack of income. Inconsistent medical care and poor nutrition cause him to say, “I feel so warm. I don’t like to eat food, and I don’t need to go #2 for three days at a time.”

Christians are already at an economic disadvantage with lower quality education, fewer job opportunities, and higher unemployment rates. The persecution mindset and attitude towards Christians are that they are lesser. The persecution mindset says “don’t bother trying to break this cycle, it won’t work”. It perpetuates dropping out of schooling, pushing into certain job fields, and defines Christianity by what limitations that person now holds. With a lower socio-economic status, Christian families are often marked by medical and nutritional issues as well.

“I love school and will pass the educational stages to avoid being like my brothers. They left school when they were young.”

Hope House sees the effects of persecution and how it can hold generation after generation back. The Christian identity needs to be redefined. Mina is not lesser as a Christian and he is not better as a man, as a persecution mindset would have him believe. Instead, he has inherent worth as a child of God. And as such, he and anyone else should be free to pursue education and their desired calling.

Hope House is a spiritually-based system of education, that also meets the nutritional, medical, and material needs of a child and their families. Mina’s experience in only a few short months is the push that he needs saying, “I love school and will pass the educational stages to avoid being like my brothers. They left school when they were young.” The holistic approach to persecution also allows for Mina’s mother to attend and participate in literacy classes. Her growth in being able to help Mina with his homework and more fully understand is progress for the whole family.

And so it is by the support of Hope House, that redefines his Christian identity, that helps Mina to say, “even now I am learning the alphabet and I am gaining knowledge. I love mathematics. I dream of being a smart trader and establishing a very big business.” It helps him fulfill his goal of being the only person in the family to graduate from school.

Mina and 15 other children are currently available for sponsorship. Would you consider helping Mina reach his goals and break the cycles of persecution?

ICC will be highlighting one child from our sponsorship program over the next several weeks, some of whom are still available to sponsor. To learn more about ICC’s Hope House or sponsor a child like Mina, visit this page.

For interviews please contact Alison Garcia: press@persecution.org

ICC is on a mission to help persecuted Christians. Will you join us?