September 11, 2020

How are you feeling?

A personal message from Mike Simpson, CEO of Mosaic Middle East (FRRME)
What does the future hold?
Dear Friend and Supporter

I was wondering today how YOU are feeling about everything that has happened this year and about the future. For many of us life is certainly a challenge at the present time! The photograph above is probably my favourite spot in Devon for quiet reflection. And we have had a lot of time to reflect.

Six months ago this week I wrote to all our email subscribers just before the lockdown came into force in the UK. Here is a snippet of what I wrote:

'At this time of international crisis concerning the Coronavirus I have been wrestling with my reaction. How, as a Christian, should I respond?

Whilst there are some who are still playing down the severity of the virus ... most people are anxious. You can see it on people's faces on the London underground ... For older people this anxiety is rising into outright fear...

... I worry about the impact on my own family. I am also deeply concerned about the impact on the refugee communities supported by FRRME... I am convinced that we must do all we can to stand with these people, who have already suffered so much. '

A lot has happened since I wrote those words. In the UK over 41,000 people who tested positive have died. The economy has been devastated by the lockdown. Many thousands have lost their jobs. Governments across the world appear to be floundering in trying to find the way forward. New restrictions are coming into force next week here. There are over 5,000 new Coronavirus cases each day in Iraq. Nobody knows what the future holds or if a successful vaccine will be found.

Goodness me, we will all remember 2020 won't we?

I am reassured by the words of Jesus Christ; "In this world you will have trouble but take heart - I have overcome the world". His presence in our lives can give us all we need, despite the most extreme challenges. I would love to hear from you. What are YOUR thoughts on the issues we face? In particular how do you think we as Mosaic Middle East should respond to the needs in Iraq, Jordan and elsewhere?

Please read on for some inspiration from the refugees we work with.....
Mike Simpson
CEO Mosaic Middle East
Girls in refugee camp in northern Iraq
Who is bringing the hope?
If anyone has cause to feel hopeless it is surely those who lost everything 6 years ago when they were driven from their homes by the murderous terrorist army of ISIS.
But they are NOT hopeless. As a charity we have a bold new vision to 'bring hope, help and healing in the Middle East'. What we have found in the last 6 months is that the people we seek to serve are themselves spreading the hope, help and healing. It is so exciting to see!
In Jordan and Iraq we have witnessed refugees responding to the pandemic with innovation, energy and fortitude. Through the Olive Tree centre in Madaba, Jordan, in the Nineveh Plain of northern Iraq, in the Kurdistan region and in the St George’s Medical Clinic in central Baghdad, the work has actually grown and developed.
Khidher Mustafa, 67 years old, has a family of 6 and currently resides in a refugee camp in Northern Iraq. He says:

Thank you so much for your kind help. It’s appreciated by all of us in the camp. I want to say, we as Yazidis, are forgotten by all sides. The only supporter we have is the Kurdistan Regional Government... During this pandemic, only NGO’s like Mosaic Middle East supported us.

The Olive Tree bears fruit!
In Jordan, our Olive Tree Centre has given a focal-point for Iraqi refugees to conduct their own socially-distanced gardening project, producing crops of fruit and vegetables for refugee families. Another group set up a team producing fashioned masks for people to attend Church services.
Others established “The Hope”, a support group using mobile phones provided by us. It is a support, prayer, and English language conversation practice group. Members are aged from 16-32 years. It provides a platform to encourage, listen, and pray during these challenging COVID-19 times.
Part of the vegetable garden at the Olive Tree Centre
Helena Scott, our Jordan Country Director says of the refugee women:

I am constantly struck by the strength of these young women and others within the refugee communities who Mosaic Middle East support. Their lives have been made even worse by the virus. … Access to food and medicine are limited to charitable and church support. Yet they remain hopeful, positive, and more committed than ever to their faith.

Women gather again at the Olive Tree Centre after lockdown
The Nineveh SEED programme is growing!
In northern Iraq, thousands have received delivery of hygiene packs at refugee camps; unique job-creation projects have seen factories, farms and livelihoods rebuilt, even under the threat of the pandemic. Whereas many NGO’s have been forced by COVID restrictions to pull out of tough areas, or temporarily suspend activity, the unique partnerships of Mosaic Middle East have provided the platform for Iraqi people to help themselves.

We’re slowly seeing change for the better. Derelict farms produce again. Villagers who rely on expensive imported food regain access to local produce. Young people find work where there has been so little opportunity. Families are reopening businesses after the trauma of ISIS

— Mike Simpson, CEO Mosaic Middle East
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Posted by Mosaic Team