A mother’s arms are supposed to be the safest place on earth. And mothers around the globe dream of a good life for their children. But for Syrian mum Roula, her arms became something she could never imagine – the place where her dream ended when her son was shot and killed by ISIS.
‘. . . snipers started shooting at me. I was holding my son across my chest and my daughters by the hands. We were running. The bullet went through my son’s shoulder to his heart.’
‘There is nothing I could ever say to explain this moment,’ Roula said. ‘If I live or die, I will never be able to explain it.’
Now in its tenth year, the Syrian Civil War has caused immeasurable devastation, upheaval, and human rights violations. The war has created the largest displacement crisis in the world with more than six million people displaced within Syria and another 5.5 million people living as refugees in neighbouring countries – people just like Roula who now lives with her surviving children in Lebanon.
Thankfully, though, when Roula and her family arrived in Lebanon, she met a local pastor who invited her to church. It was a place where Roula ‘felt loved. If I could come every day, I would,’ she said.
Roula’s church showed her the love we see in 1 Corinthians 12:25–26: ‘there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honoured, every part rejoices with it.’
The church helped her daughters get back to school, provided for the family’s basic needs, and Roula now has a job working as a supervisor at a learning centre at the church.
‘They provided me with fuel for the winter and food when we need it,’ she said. After three-and-a-half-years living as a refugee in Lebanon, Roula has a renewed hope and dream as well as a supportive community.
‘The incident that happened with my only son was very hard. But having a new purpose and work and a chance to help other children has helped me,’ Roula said. ‘One day, I believe I will see my son in heaven. This is what keeps me moving. The church gave me this hope.’
Because Jesus has always cared about people on the margins, your gift today will help provide new opportunities for people like Roula, restored hope, revived dreams. Thank you!