Syria: Hope Unveiled in Darkness
Bara woke up with the right side of her body completely numb and the sound of gunshots in the distance. Since the day her parents were taken violently from her, every morning had been the same: she awoke on the cold and dirty ground, huddled together with sister and brother.
As the children wandered the streets daily in search of food and shelter, Bara’s older sister did her best to keep them away from the soldiers, but at nine years of age, she could hardly protect herself. Bara often saw her lying awake at night . . . trembling.
Even more than the fear they felt for their own lives was the concern for their little 3-year-old brother. The nights were much too cold for his little body that was growing weaker by the day.
Dusk was drawing near again when a man and his wife approached them.
“Are you alone?” the man asked, kneeling down beside them. They all nodded silently.
The man shifted his eyes to the ground, shaking his head slowly. He didn’t need to ask why—he already knew.
Bara hadn’t seen such warmth in someone’s eyes since before she lost her parents. His kind and gentle demeanor immediately drew tears from her eyes.
“My name is Fadi,” the man said, his voice soft and concerned. “This is my wife, Dalal. Come with us . . . we are going somewhere safe.” He extended his hand and Bara saw the gaping wounds covering his arm. This man had been fighting too, just like her father.
Taking hold of his warm and steady hand, Bara knew at once he was a good man . . . the protector they were longing for.
Fadi did his best to turn their tiny home into a place of solace and peace. Jordan offered them a safe place away from the fighting, but it was saturated by the heaviness of grief and loss.
Bara wouldn’t let herself think about all that had happened. Losing her parents so brutally had left her feeling like an empty shell—she didn’t know how to feel anymore nor did she want to.
The questions that began rising up in her mind frightened her. She tried to push them away, but every morning they raged at her again like wild animals.
Why am I alive? . . . Where do I belong? . . . Do I even matter?
It was nearing Christmas when snow started to fall from the sky like she had never seen. The frigid air began to sweep in through the cracks in the walls and sink deep into her aching body—there was no relief.
But when a group of visitors showed up at the camp unexpectedly . . . everything began to change.
It was an unforeseen Christmas morning for the refugees. Kerosene lamps, blankets, and warm winter coats were handed out—it was the first trace of comfort most had experienced since the fighting began.
And there were special presents handed out to each child: a box full of small toys and a storybook. Instead of tearing into the carefully wrapped box of toys like many of the other children, Bara found herself transfixed by the storybook.
There was a man in the pictures that reminded her of Fadi—the kindness in his eyes and the warmth in his smile. This man, she learned, was Jesus . . . her Heavenly Father who loved her more than she could fathom. Tears began to pour from her eyes as she realized that Fadi had been sent to her from God . . . a sign that He had been watching over her all along.
Behind the vibrant pictures in the Bible storybook were answers to so many of her questions. Bara came to understand her true value through the message of the Gospel that morning, and she found within her the strength she needed to endure.
The visitors had come with a message of hope that day . . . a hope that would begin to take root in the hearts of Syrian children, changing the future for their nation.
Now, more than ever, is our opportunity to reach out to a hurting nation . . . the time to bring light where darkness reigns. World Help is committed to provide help and hope through life-saving resources and children’s storybook Bibles in order to alleviate the suffering of Syrian refugees. To date, 550,000 children’s storybook Bibles have been distributed, and it is our goal to deliver at least 450,000 more. Join us today in our efforts to bring comfort and healing to our brothers and sisters in Syria.