ERBIL, Iraq, Aug. 9, 2015 – They may not be in the news so much anymore, but it doesn’t mean they are forgotten.
Filipino Couples for Christ members based in Dubai and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates have been regularly visiting some 500 Iraqi refugees at the Mar Elia Catholic Church in this city where they have found a home.
“They’re very warm, very friendly. When you smile to them they smile back. They say hi when you say hi. They would keep staring at us as if they don’t see Filipinos often,” said Er-Er Abringe, a CFC full-time missionary based in Dubai, describing the Iraqi refugees.
According to him, because of a language barrier, the CFC team can only play games with the Iraqi kids and give them school materials.
“We can’t create a conversation though [because] they can’t speak English. Those who can are very warm. They would talk to us and listen to what we say,” Abringe added.
He said CFC aims to give more than material aid in the future as plans for a Christian Life Program (CLP) for the Christian refugees are in the works.
“A local priest here and his team is helping us translate the CLP manual and the Youth Camp manual to Kurdish. So hopefully, next year we can conduct CLP to locals,” Abringe explained, referring to regular formation programs CFC conducts.
CFC is currently holding an English CLP for 30 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) based in Iraq together with other residents in the area. (Nirva’ana Ella Delacruz/CBCPnews)