An Eternal Sustaining Hope

07/23/2021 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – “The center is very important for me. I have learned so many good things like reading and writing. I like the character of King Manasseh, he repented to God. I love drawing and spelling. My favorite verse in Bible is ‘you are beloved’, Daniel 9:23.”

For Saad, going to the classes held at his local church is a welcome break from the household chores and daily labor. The opportunity to hear Bible lessons, learn and practice reading and writing, is not one readily available to most his age and social status.

Many Egyptian Christian children have no guarantee of receiving an education. Often treated as third-class citizens throughout the Muslim-dominated Middle East, Christians struggle to obtain a better future for their children as they are systematically discriminated against on every level of society. Egypt, containing the largest population of Christians within the region, is no exception. In rural communities, this is often exacerbated further by a lack of quality public services.

ICC has partnered with churches located in rural Egyptian communities to launch our Hope House program to help these disadvantaged Christian children and lay an academic foundation. “I have learned everything about social studies, science, and the Arabic language. I also learned the punctuations of the Arabic language. I love the story of Elijah. It taught me generosity and if someone asked me for something I have to give it to him/her,” a student named Remonda wrote. Even just a year ago, many children were unable to write. Now, they are able to write brief testimonies of what they have learned recently at the center.

“I have learned reading, writing, and many things such as how to treat my friends and love all kinds of people. I love the characters of the widow and Elijah. I love telling stories.”

The center is so good and we learn well at classes. I love answering the questions and exercises in the book,” Mahraiel wrote. Another student named Mariam wrote, “I have learned reading, writing, and many things such as how to treat my friends and love all kinds of people. I love the characters of the widow and Elijah. I love telling stories.”

Currently, 250 children are actively enrolled in Hope House. Children that would otherwise be helping at home or working as manual laborers receive a quality education enabling them to pursue opportunities their parents never could. Everything from the fundamentals of reading, writing, grammar, and mathematics to Bible lessons are covered to empower and ground them in their Christian heritage. The response from both the community and children has been exuberant.

I have learned reading, writing and alphabets. I love the story of Jacoub, he did not betray anyone,” Madonna wrote.

“I have learned a lot at the center. I like the character of Widow of Zarephat in the Bible. The verses I love in Bible are ‘But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ And ‘Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee,’” Martha Fouad commented, writing out several long Bible verses.

With a valuable year of education largely lost due to Covid-19 shutdowns, families are eager to have their children return to classes where they know they will learn. Despite this and the challenges, these children will surely continue to face in pursuing their education, eventual careers, and lives, they possess an eternal sustaining hope that does not fail, even in the harshest of nights.

For interviews please contact Addison Parker: press@persecution.org

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