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The Battle of Hope

Blog Team
Dec 06, 2012

“It never ends,” Isam recently told me about his work in the Middle East. He is World Help’s on-the-ground partner in Jordan near the Syrian border. He facilitates aid distribution, working on the front lines with the refugees who have fled into Jordan.
Syrian Refugee - Young Girl
Over the past year, I’ve watched callous violence and slaughter unfold in a now broken Syria. The horrendous acts against children, women, and families have left me—all of us—feeling completely helpless, infuriated. I was eager to speak with Isam when he recently visited our office . . . to better understand how we could help.

Isam explained what life was like for those who manage to escape the violence in Syria:

As if fleeing everything you’ve known isn’t unimaginable enough, these people now live in tents with only the clothes on their back, relying solely on the provisions they are given for survival. Windy conditions in the sandy terrain have turned their lives into a nightmare. It’s nearly impossible to keep sand out of food and belongings. It often hurts to breathe. Even blinking can be painful.

Small children wander aimlessly because their parents are missing—maybe shelled in their own homes, or perhaps shot execution style in the street while their children watched from behind bullet-ridden doors.

Life as a Syrian refugee is daily torment.

And though “it never ends,” Isam knows that healing is not just possible, but a reality—one he witnesses on a daily basis. World Help is partnering alongside Isam to bring the restorative promise of hope to thousands of these victims. His approach is unique and effective. Instead of simply distributing aid and moving on, he and his team are intentional about building personal relationships with the desolate people they work with.
Syrian Refugees - Young Boys
His strategy allows World Help to invest in small communities where Syrians have taken shelter. The influx of refugees has crowded these cities to capacity, and Isam told me he has encountered up to 50 people living in one home. For these refugees—the majority of them traumatized by the death of family members—he and his team provide fresh food from local markets. They listen to these suffering people . . . encourage them . . . and follow up. It’s a model of care that builds a rapport of trust and future opportunities.

Despite bloody uprisings, mass exodus, and social upheaval, Isam is confident that our involvement is key to the healing of Syria. And that’s a fact he doesn’t take lightly. As we spoke, he repeatedly emphasized to me the reality of our strategic involvement. In light of that, he works without apprehension, focusing only on meeting physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.

I couldn’t understand how Isam remains so optimistic after everything he’s seen. But it’s because he knows there is hope.

Listening to Isam has changed my approach toward this heartbreaking crisis from one of despair, to one of action, to one of hope. And together, we can be a part of that hope.

The conflict in Syria is approaching its two-year mark, and the fight is far from over. We have a choice to stay overwhelmed by the level of hopelessness . . . or join in the battle to restore the people of Syria. I believe it’s a battle that can be won. And on behalf of those who will experience the reassurance of our care, I pray that you join Isam and World Help in this fight for hope.

*World Help has withheld full names to protect the identity of our partner


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