I just re-read this Al-Jazeera article from April about the state of refugees in Lebanon. In short, it stated that since children are often found "cheaper and more obedient" than adults, some Lebanese employers prefer to hire them over adults, leaving adults with few options and vulnerable. Children in refugee camps may be hired out to farmers and manufacturers far from their families, destabilizing their family structure and introducing further developmental issues that may last into adulthood.
When people find themselves with such need, where can they turn? Even amidst the most well-intentioned and hard-fought efforts across the Middle East, for families who do not take the life-and-death risk of migration, some turn to prostitution, labor trafficking, or local militia as a way of supporting themselves. This year's journey toward Lebanon has given me the honor of meeting people working on the ground, to stand in a gap between individuals and these decisions. Since "efforts to curb slavery and end human trafficking are often uncoordinated," I hope to collaborate with workers in the region to assist those "most at risk." Hope Academy wants to create space for children to determine a different future, one that they choose rather than one handed to them by circumstances. Tireless effort and prayer has gone into this effort already, and I am humbled to join the crew in a short time. Consider joining us in the effort. Pray with us. Sign up for updates to the right, and consider giving to the Hope Academy or my personal living expenses to ensure the continuation of this work.
Hope to see you tonight at the Fremont Abbey!