Helena Scott, our Jordan Country Director and our ‘Love Ambassador to Jordan’ writes…
Despite Coronavirus we continue to bring vital support to thousands of refugees here. They continue to be resilient. Perhaps, most importantly, they remain hopeful. They teach me daily that faith, patience, fortitude, friendship and hope for better times ahead will overcome the fear of the unknown brought by the pandemic.
Over the past few weeks life as a refugee in Jordan has been one of immense challenge and hardship. The need for support is great. But I want to share with you the hope I have seen emerge and blossom within the refugee community.
The Olive Tree Centre in Madaba, though closed for its usual classes, remains a place of hope, help and healing. Our team works together to overcome difficulties and find ways to continue our support of the refugees.
The refugees have, with our support, taken an inspiring initiative…..
In the previously untouched grounds of the Olive Tree Centre Iraqi refugees work in shifts of two at a time. Fitted in masks and gloves they are bringing new life through creating a beautiful vegetable, fruit and flower garden.
This garden made by refugees, for refugees, will bring some extra food support. It is also providing meaningful activity. The project fuels them for the long days trapped inside during the periodic severe lockdowns. It allows them to breathe fresh air in a safe space, and gain a sense of accomplishment from breathing life into the ground.
Last week they planted. The cucumbers, tomatoes, mint, lemon and countless other fruits and vegetables will take time to grow of course. Seeds of hope have been sown during these uncertain times. They will eventually transform and the garden will bear fruit. We can’t predict the future, but with continued nourishment, care, support and prayer, we can bring hope, help, and healing to those so in need. In all we do our aim is to grow, develop, and strengthen these families and their community.
‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.’ Galatians 5
How we work
Our Response to the Virus
"The Olive Tree Centre remains a place of real hope in these troubling times. Our motivation is Christian compassion. Our objective is to strengthen and empower those in need." - Helena Scott, our Jordan Country Director.
The Coronavirus pandemic rages on and the world faces a severe economic recession. In the Middle East there is the added nightmare scenario of the collapse in oil prices. The Iraqi government was already struggling with protests and conflicts since last autumn. Then there is the ever-present threat of terrorism and sectarian conflict.
In Jordan there is another dimension. Over the last 70 years they have taken vast numbers of refugees from other countries, far more than any Western nation. This presents huge challenges to their government.
We remain deeply moved by the plight of the thousands of refugees and displaced people in Iraq and Jordan where we work. They were driven from their homes by ISIS and our hearts go out to them, as they face the pandemic with no free health care and no home to call their own.
This article shows one way we have tried to respond creatively and effectively to fulfil our mission ‘to bring hope, help and healing in the Middle East’. Over the last two months you have been able to read about many other ways we have responded to the pandemic. We could not do this without you! Your help is making all the difference. Thank you so much.