Sisters Amira* and Fatima were short on options. These young women had fled their homeland with their family over five years before and had lived as refugees in a neighboring country ever since. Like many of the displaced, their household of eight struggled to provide for itself. While two of Amira and Fatima’s brothers were able to generate some income, they hadn’t found steady employment.
But God saw them and their needs, and He brought Christar worker Penny in their lives. Penny taught the sisters to sew, and using their newfound skill, Amira and Fatima began creating products for sale using traditional Bedouin fabrics. And, as the women sewed together, Penny shared stories about Jesus, leading to conversations about spiritual truth.
Penny also introduced Amira and Fatima to the ACCTS Community Center, a Christar project that seeks to meet the needs of refugees in the Middle East. It offers vocational, educational and social programs that help them face the challenges of making a fresh start after suffering the countless losses of displacement. There, the sisters have the opportunity to participate in training programs in skills such as soap-making, handicrafts, sewing, basic engineering and computers.
At the community center, the sisters have continued to develop their skills while experiencing God’s love firsthand. Thanks to all they’ve learned, they’re able to provide the majority of the income for their large household. And, because of the time they’re spending with followers of Christ, they’re gaining an understanding of His care for them.
The ACCTS Community Center is a catalyst for hope in the lives of many refugee women like Amira and Fatima. Miriam, who heard about the center from her neighbors, quickly excelled in the sewing training program, and within two months she discovered the potential of generating income by stitching uniforms for a local school. However, she lacked one very important resource: a sewing machine.
But, when she shared her need with the director of the community center, she was given access to the center’s sewing machines as well as abundant encouragement to accept the school’s offer. Miriam embraced the opportunity, crafting over a hundred pieces and earning almost half a month’s income from her first job.
Miriam graduated from the program with a new sewing machine from the community center, allowing her to take on other projects at home and continue to grow her earning power. She also completed the classes with new outlook, empowered with skills to provide a safe, warm home for her family.
For Amira, Fatima, Miriam and many others, the ACCTS Community Center not only offers a means to learn skills to support their families, but serves as a starting point for a new beginning. In the wake of great loss, they can move forward with hope.
How can I get involved?
- Praise God for using sewing classes to provide both connection and a means to generate income for refugee women.
- Pray that the ladies participating will find true worth and lasting hope.
- Ask the Lord for provide the funds needed to run vocational programs at the ACCTS.
Your gift to the Arab Center for Consulting and Training Services (ACCTS) will provide practical help and lasting hope to refugees and other vulnerable people.