Hope for a Future

Hope for a Future

November 01, 2016 - 09:55
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NCM Child Sponsorships give Middle East refugee children a chance at life.

Photo by Steve Jeter

For five years refugees from Syria and surrounding countries have fled to Lebanon and Jordan. Half are of them are children. Nazarene Compassionate Ministries’ (NCM) Child Sponsorship program steps in through local Nazarene churches to give these children hope.

The precious children who share their stories here are part of NCM. Their names have been changed for their privacy. Note their earnest gratitude for their Nazarene schools. Listen to their words of resilience and hopefulness. These are their words as they speak from their hearts.

RASHA

I live in a family of five siblings, two boys and two other girls. I am 13. We left our country Syria because of the current situation. Our father left us and came to Lebanon long time ago. That’s why we decided to come to Lebanon to live with him. But unfortunately, he also left us again and went to Turkey and since that time we don’t know anything about him.

After two years in this school, I can say that the Nazarene school gave me hope and confidence to fight for a better tomorrow and this school helped me as well to reshape my character. I study hard and I am living my life in a normal way like any other student. I am socially accepted—that’s great! What a nice feeling.

My dream is to become a doctor, because I like to help people. I would like to go back again to Syria to help my country to develop and progress. I thank God for everything; for the difficult and the beautiful things that happened in my life. I believe that God is always with us and He will never abandon us. This is my hope in life.

TAREK 

I’m 11 years old. I live in a family of five siblings, three brothers and two sisters. I live here in Jordan as a Syrian refugee. My dad and mum had to leave Syria to survive and Jordan was the only opened shelter for us.

When we arrived to Amman, we were exhausted, homeless and had no money. Dad found a job as a shoe maker and we rented a small house. Actually, I was completely destroyed from the inside out. I started to mumble and have some speech disorders and that made me a good catch to the bullies in my neighborhood.

My dad persuaded me to join a school to find friends and have a new chance to learn. Fortunately the Nazarene school was the nearest to my house.

First, you won’t know how difficult it is to go to school and be a fourth grader without attending the previous grades. I couldn’t mingle with the other students, but thanks to the teachers who motivated and encouraged me in many different ways to get engaged in some social activities inside and outside the class.

After a short while, I started to have friends who started to help and defend me too. Now, I’m a fifth grader. I’m a confident student who gets good marks in the tests. I can read and write in both languages, Arabic and English. I can say no to any one [who] wants to harm me.

Thanks to the Nazarene school in Amman for helping me to feel that I’m still a human being.

Thanks to the Nazarene school for helping me to feel that I’m still a human being.

HALIL

I am 14 years old. I have one brother and we are living with my mother. My father was kidnapped in Syria and that’s why my mom works as a doctor’s assistant to provide money.

I am from Syrian nationality, I had some difficulties in the English language but my colleagues embraced me without distinguishing between the Syrians and the Lebanese. I now have many friends and I made a huge progress on the educational level because of the school.

My spiritual life is great; I know Jesus and I took Him as a personal savior. Before I used to worship the statues, but now I know the truth especially through the chapel.

I play the baritone. I am a basketball player. I speak Armenian, Syriac, Kurdish, English, and Arabic. In the future, I would like to be an army officer. I love my father and I am missing him every day.

LELY

I’m 11 years old. I have no brothers and four sisters. My sisters are my whole world. My family left my country Syria because of the war and the unsettled current situation.

When we arrived five years ago, my mum wanted me to join an organized school. The Nazarene school is exactly next to our small rented house. My first school year was not easy for me at all. I spent the first three months crying all the day long. I had no friends. I didn’t know anything about school, [or] even how to hold a pencil. My parents couldn’t help me at all as they are illiterate.

Two years ago, I was diagnosed as having [an] neurological disorder called epilepsy. I didn’t attend school for more than two months. I thought it is impossible to enroll [in] school again. I was afraid to death to have a seizure in front of my classmates.

After a while, the school told me to come back as I became better. Soon, my nightmare came true. One day I started to shake hysterically and fell down. I thought I’m going to die, but when I opened my eyes, I saw all my friends and teachers around me smiling and saying, “Thank God you are well.” “Don’t worry, we are all with you.”  

I couldn’t hold my tears as I realized that I’m accepted, loved, and appreciated from them all.

Now I’m in grade four. I look after my health and I take my medicine regularly. I do my best to impress my teachers. In the future, I would like to be a teacher to have a chance to pay it back and be able to help other helpless children, especially those who have learning problems.

Get involved

Through the NCM Child Sponsorship program, 12,000 children in need have access to opportunities to help them reach their potential. Child Sponsorship is rooted in relational connections. One sponsor is paired with one child for a long-term relationship. Through correspondence from sponsors, sponsored children receive love, encouragement, and hope. A sponsor contributes US$30 a month, which gives a child the opportunity to grow up healthy, receive an education, gain confidence and life skills, and develop spiritually. To learn more about NCM Child Sponsorship, visit: ncm.org/sponsor.