Hope On Wheels Ministry Brings Summer Camp to Refugee Camps

Photo courtesy of Heart for Lebanon.

Normally, summer means camp for many kids. Be it Vacation Bible School, band camp, or youth programs, kids dive into learning and games under the watchful eye of exhausted but patient camp counselors.

Then, COVID-19 put the kibosh on those plans for 2020. This summer, rather than hurling water balloons or staying up late in cabins, kids are mostly stuck at home.

But what if your home is countries away and ravaged by war? What if “camp” means a refugee camp, and summer programs are your only escape from a repetitive and impoverished lifestyle?

That’s the case for many kids in camps where Heart for Lebanon works. Thanks to coronavirus-induced restrictions, they can’t provide traditional summer programming and the escapism it offers. Instead, they’ve resorted to digital programs and minimal contact.

The programs are still effective, says Heart for Lebanon’s Tom Atema. “We know that because of the response we’re getting not only from the children and their parents, but what we see as we go visit the tents.” These visits, of course, strictly maintain the health measures required by local governments. Still, any face-to-face contact is meaningful for these struggling families.

And as of June 16, face-to-face Bible study meetings are back on. On June 24, the first Kurdish Hope On Wheels Bible study kicked off.

It’s this last ministry that’s taking an especially unusual form during quarantine. Normally, the Hope On Wheels ministry takes a literal truckload of games, puppet shows, and club activities from refugee camp to camp. The goal is to keep kids not only entertained but filled with hope.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Alex Anhalt

CALL TO ACTION

  • Pray for kids looking for hope in Lebanon.
  • Ask God to ease the suffering and struggle of kids in refugee camps.
  • Thank Him for the perseverance and courage of kids continuing to hold activities in this difficult time.