Outside the cement-block shack, two children—a boy and girl with dark hair and freckles—run barefoot, avoiding the sharp rocks as best as they can. Their bodies are in perpetual motion because the ground is too cold to stand in one place for too long.
They jump and shout, sometimes in play, sometimes running from an invisible enemy—a feeling deep inside that they are too young to identify. Their play is interrupted by a handful of strangers who have just arrived at the makeshift home, their arms loaded with boxes and plastic bags.
They watch with uncertainty, shifting from one leg to the other, careful not to keep their feet on the freezing ground for too long. One of the men, with kind eyes, holds up a pair of brightly colored sneakers and points to the children. He smiles and motions for them to come inside. They bounce after him in curiosity.
The two-room home is dark and the air is thick. Seconds after their eyes adjust from the blinding desert light, the men realize the room is brimming with people—seven families live here.
These Christians—World Help’s partners on the ground in Jordan—are known among the community of refugees in this area and are always welcomed. After talking briefly, the group unloads bags full of rice, cheese, oil, milk, sugar, tea, and other food items. Before long, the room is buzzing with laughter and heartfelt thanksgiving. Two of the women disappear into the next room and the savory aroma of rice floats in a few minutes later.
Next, the men gather the children in the room—from toddlers to teenagers—and begin to fit their feet with new shoes. They spend the next few hours listening to stories, making sure each family is heard. These people have all been violently driven from their homes in Syria . . . husbands and sons killed . . . caring for emotionally and physically maimed children . . . now living as refugees in Jordan with little means to survive.
“How can we help you?” one of the men asks gently.
A young woman raises her eyes. She has been waiting for this moment. She gathers a 2-year-old girl with playful brown curls in her arms. Her watery black eyes fall on her mother’s face as she speaks.
“My daughter has cancer. All I want is treatment for her to live.”
The words fall heavy. Soon more requests follow and the men listen intently. No fuel to stay warm. No beds or blankets for their children. No medicine for simple ailments. No running water for bathing or cooking.
The men pray over the families—something many refugees have come to cherish from these Christian visitors—and promise they will be back.
Right now, they have little more to offer than food and clothing. With proper funding, they are able to care for greater needs. But they know even the smallest involvement can reignite hope for refugees like these. It’s enough to keep them going when all hope seems lost.
Humanitarian agencies project that Jordan is now home to nearly 600,000 Syrian refugees, though that number has also been estimated to be over 1 million. As the needs grow, we cannot work quickly enough to intervene.
Looking away isn’t an option anymore.
Amid so much heartbreak in Syria and among refugee communities, we want to remind you—there is still hope. With every meal . . . blanket . . . piece of clothing . . . Bible—the flicker of hope is fanned into a full flame. Your financial gifts, advocacy, and prayers are doing something.
There is hope just waiting to be given. And we must give it.
World Help believes you and I—the church, followers of Christ—are part of the answer to the prayers of Syrians. We are the hands and feet of Jesus on the ground. We have the opportunity to manifest His love here on earth. It begins with a prayer and continues with a warm meal, shoes, a children’s Bible storybook, a foundation of trust.
Will you stand with us when too many are choosing to give up? Help reignite hope for refugees.