Syria: Comfort for families who have lost everything

In the space of 48 hours, everything changed for four brothers who lived with their families in a wealthy suburb of a Syrian city. Their homes, cars, and food were destroyed by shelling, and their lives were turned upside down. First they felt shock, and then fear about what might happen next if they stayed.

The families left together, leaving behind everything, including their dreams. They moved to the relative safety of a new city, finding one apartment for all four families to share (16 children plus parents and grandparents). The rent is highly inflated as a result of the conflict, and they have to pay it on a daily basis or they will lose the apartment.

They were not welcomed in the new neighbourhood, and they feel alone and “naked”. The families have had to resort to knocking on doors and begging for hand-outs, and their new neediness and vulnerability is extremely difficult for them to adjust to, particularly for the older generation. Various family members started suffering from stress related ailments, including ulcers.

A pastor who coordinates an LSESD (Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development) relief project went to visit the families in the apartment.

When he asked them what they needed, they replied: 'First, we want to be treated like human beings, not like animals.'

The men were Christian, and during the visit he prayed with the family members who were sick.

One of the young men told him: 'My mind is confused; my brain has stopped. I can no longer think ahead. How can I rebuild my life, when I now have no home and no money?'

The pastor replied that there is hope, because Jesus gives us hope. He went on to discuss the Bible with the family, and shared that sometimes Jesus gives enormous challenges so that people will return to Him.

Since the time of the pastor’s first visit, the family has received some food assistance through the church and a few of the family members have started to attend Bible study sessions.

 

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