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The Needs of the Marginalized Run Deep

Isaiah 61:1 says, “The Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives.” This is the rallying cry of Encompass Global Worker Ivy in Western Asia as her team reaches children with disabilities and their families, as well as an expanding refugee population, with the hope of Christ.

It’s been nearly three years since Ivy joined this ministry team, which is made up of mostly national workers. Together they’ve developed an ethos that is empowered by the gospel and carried out with transparency. For the children with special needs and their families, the team strives to provide excellent care and service while also expressing their love for Jesus and the hope he brings.

Recently, another demographic has also come within reach of the team…Refugee families. The team had prayed for their ministry to expand beyond their city, and God answered by bringing people to them. This has increased their work tenfold but has also presented many more opportunities to build relationships.

Here is a testimony from one of the Refugees Ivy was able to help.

My five family members and I have made a long and difficult journey. Along the way, we had to stay in some of the scariest places I have ever seen. I remember one of the places vividly because it was crawling with rats. Having nothing to eat or quench our thirst, we scavenged for food and had to drink the water, no matter how dirty or bad tasting it was.

In any normal circumstance, my mother would never have asked us to drink and eat what we did, but she knew we would die if we didn’t. I would like to forget those days, but since we arrived here, we have been covered in sores, which are painful and relentless reminders. My whole family has them all over our bodies. My father and sisters have them the worst.

It was a miracle that we met these people who came to visit and help my cousin who lost his fingers. They felt so bad when they saw us that they took us to the doctors. They told my dad that we all had bacteria from what we ate and drank along our journey, most likely from the rats. We were told to take medicine and eat well. But, I don’t know how we will do this because my father cannot find a job. People are afraid of him because of all his sores and because we are refugees. 

My 15-year-old sister was given in marriage to someone so that we would have one less mouth to feed. I still don’t understand why my father did this, but yet I know I would not want to be in his position. My sister still plays with us, but she is being forced to be a grown up and is kept away from us more and more. This is the terrible pain of being poor and having nothing! We have nearly lost our hope, no work, no money and a broken family. God help us, please!

But these nice ladies came to the house we moved into, which is nothing like the beautiful home we were forced to leave behind. This new home is broken down and has mold all over the walls; we have nothing to sit or sleep on except for the things we found in the trash around us. The trash from the local market has been a blessing! It is much better than the trash from our journey. We have found food, clothing, and household items there.

The ladies came into our home and left, I had wondered if they did not like us just like the rest of the community. But before long, they brought us things to cook with, and food to cook and eat. It was like a holiday at our house. We had real food! I will never forget the next week when a big truck came with furniture, blankets, closets, beds, and other items for our home. It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen! 

This is just one of the unique situations Ivy deals with day in and day out.

Altogether, there are 134 families who are being helped, and 103 children with disabilities who are receiving care. Ivy’s team is able to serve these families in a powerful way, shining as lights, and praying that the families who see their good work will give God all the glory.

The needs of the marginalized run deep, but God’s love runs deeper! Please pray that God would give Ivy and her team the strength and resources they need to continue loving people in such powerful ways.