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The day the sky fell in eastern Ghouta



  • March 13, 2018
Emily Towns

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Sumaya stands on her toes and peers through the crack in the cement wall. At age 5, she’s a little too short, so she jumps, hoping to see the sun.

All she sees is smoke and dust.

Sumaya’s home in eastern Ghouta, Syria, has been under siege for weeks. It’s happened before, but this time seems more dangerous. Sumaya was playing outside when the sky started to fall. Bombs screamed through the air. Her mother called out to her and together, they ran for cover.

Now there’s no more sun. Sumaya and her family live in a basement with several other families, waiting for the bombs to stop. The children are kept inside for their safety; Sumaya hasn’t been outside for weeks. She is hungry, and she wonders, “Will I ever see the sun again?”

Ghouta is burning

The U.N. Children’s Fund says it “no longer has words to describe the suffering in Syria.”

The country has been locked in a violent civil war for years, and like most conflicts, it is the children who have suffered most. In fact, it is estimated that more than 1,000 children have been killed in Syria in the past year — all because of violence and a lack of food and medical supplies.

Eastern Ghouta has been a battleground since 2012, but the violence has escalated over the past few weeks. It’s a region of nearly 400,000 people and one-third of that population is children. With ongoing airstrikes, parents have left their children in basements. They have spent days in darkness, but at least they are safe. Gathered in cramped, underground shelters, many Syrians have recorded audio of the roaring planes as they fly overhead. They are begging for outside help, begging for rescue.

Since the siege began, the citizens of eastern Ghouta have been without access to clean water, food, and medical supplies. With more than 2,000 reported injuries, emergency supplies are desperately needed.

A daily, five-hour pause in the fighting has been mandated and an escape route opened. But most of Ghouta’s citizens are too scared to leave their homes. They’ve seen too many friends and neighbors killed as soon as they stepped outside when it was supposedly “safe.” Still, it’s a small step in the right direction.

How you can help 

Our partners on the ground in Syria are ready to move as soon as citizens begin trickling out of the city. But they need your help to supply the necessary aid. Eastern Ghouta is located just west of Damascus, Syria’s capital city. Those who escape are expected to find refuge there. With your help, they also will find food, clean water, and medical attention.

You can extend a hand of rescue and relief to someone fighting for his life in the midst of the Syrian war. For every $35 you give, you will provide $189 worth of lifesaving supplies to a refugee in need.

You will not only be meeting the physical needs of families like Sumaya’s, you also will remind them that they are not forgotten — even as their world seems to fall down around them. When you give, you send the love of Jesus to people who are desperate for hope.

Help rescue a refugee today.

 

*Sumaya is a pseudonym. She represents thousands of children in besieged areas of Syria.

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