Reaching Out to Refugees - Trans World Radio Canada

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  • Aug2Wed

    Reaching Out to Refugees

    August 2, 2017 by The TWR Canada team
    Filed Under:
    Europe

    Middle Eastern refugees living in Europe and North America have left their former lives behind, endured countless tragedies, and now face the daunting task of adjusting to vastly different cultures. Understandably, they experience loneliness, trauma, societal marginalization, and spiritual doubts.

    At TWR Canada, we want to reach out to refugees, but how do we do this?

    Within Europe, it can be difficult to minister to refugees, due to language and culture differences, complicated asylum procedures, and the sheer number of refugees. However, smartphones are indispensable for many of them. What if we could turn smartphones into a tool for showing Christ's love and hope to refugees?

    TWR has developed a Refugee Media Ministry, which reaches out to refugees primarily through the "Refugee Bridge" smartphone app. Any refugee who has an Android smartphone can download this app and instantly access audio programs in Arabic, Farsi, and Dari, with more languages to be added. An iOS version for iPhones is in development, as well.

    The Refugee Media Ministry team has been hard at work over the last year to add carefully chosen content. Currently, the app offers over 330 episodes from various programs. These programs were carefully selected for their use in addressing the trauma and other difficulties that refugees face in Europe and North America, as well as speaking of the only true hope: Jesus Christ. We also make sure that programs are culturally appropriate for a Muslim audience. New episodes are added every week for many programs, so that refugees always have something new to look forward to on the app. We are constantly looking for relevant content, and are even producing a series tailored for Arabic-speaking refugees!

    New Country, New Home is the name of this tailored program for Arabic-speaking refugees. This series will contain 30 episodes addressing some of the common struggles of refugees from a Christian perspective. The episodes are written in a way which thoughtfully introduces Christianity and a Christian perspective to the many Muslim refugees. Twenty-two of the episodes will be written from the perspective of a male Syrian refugee, named Khalid, living in Germany. The final 8 episodes will be written from the perspective of Khalid’s wife, and will address specific struggles faced by refugee women.

    Scripts for the episodes from Khalid’s perspective are nearly complete. (Scroll down to view a sample script!) Scripts for the episodes from Khalid’s wife’s perspective are in progress, and should be complete this fall. Production of the completed scripts has already begun.

    The programs currently available on the app include The Way of Righteousness (a program created specifically for reaching out to Muslims), TWR Women of Hope (TWR’s program for women, which points women to Christ, and equips them to bring that hope to others), and Ala’s Diary (a program specifically for youth). These are just a few of the programs currently available. More programs will be added to the app as they become available.

    Through the Refugee Bridge app, our prayer is for refugees to come to understand and know the hope of Jesus Christ. Please join us in praying for the many refugees around the world.



    A NEW COUNTRY A NEW HOME -- 001A

    Hello. ... When Khalid began his long journey as a refugee ... he had no idea what was in the future. ... Now he is beginning life in a new home. ... Is it possible that this story about Khalid and his family sounds like it might be a part of your refugee story?

    ***************

    We had so many dreams and hopes when we lived in Syria.  It is difficult, sometimes, to look back and remember.

    We didn’t want to leave. ... We loved our home. ... It wasn’t big, but it was enough. ... And then the war came and life became difficult. ... When some of the buildings were bombed, we tried to tell ourselves it was all right. We could stay. We were still safe. ... I could still work. ... The children could play. ... We could visit with friends and family sometimes. ... It wasn’t like the old days before the war, but we told ourselves we could still have good times. ... There was no reason for any shooting or explosions or bombing in our neighborhood. We were peaceful people. We just lived our lives. And we didn’t bother anyone. ... Why should anyone make trouble for us?

    Then there was shooting nearby. ... And we didn’t know who was shooting. ... Or why they were shooting.

    One day an explosion destroyed the school a short distance from our home. ... No one was sure what caused the explosion. ... But what did it matter who did it? ... Or how they did it. ... There was no more school.

    It’s not easy to think about that now as we live in this new place in Germany. ... Life is not perfect here, but at least no one is shooting. ... No one is making explosions.

    We have a small place now that we can call our home. ... Maybe ... sometime ... we can find a better place. ... But for now we have a place that we do not have to share with perhaps 20 other refugees.

    Marwa, my wife, now has a place where she can prepare the food for the family meals.

    Hasna, my daughter, has a new doll that she carries everywhere. ... I hear her telling her doll about some of her memories. ... That hurts me. That makes me feel so sad. ... A child -- a little girl -- should not have to remember such things.

    And my son. His name is Murad. ... I thought that because he was younger he might not have the same memories. ... But I was wrong. ... Yesterday, when I came home from the store I brought him a small toy car as a present. ... Both children had lost the toys they had brought with them from Syria. ... Murad looked at the toy car, but he didn’t smile. ... He said “thank you” ... and then he went to the other side of the room to play with it. ... Soon he was pretending that it was a tank. He made loud noises, and made the toy crash into things. .... He, too, has memories that no child should have.

    Maybe ... soon ... they will find friends in this new place where we live. ... Maybe some day they both will have new pleasant memories.

    ***************

    The story of Khalid and his family is not finished. Tomorrow is another day with new challenges. Khalid doesn’t know what will happen ... But we do know that God knows ... We also know that God cares about what happens to Khalid and his family. ... God also cares about what happens to you during this confusing time ... as you look for a new home in a new country.

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