Discovering Peace

IN THE MIDDLE of the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time, millions of peaceful civilians are being forced to leave their homes in the desperate search for safety. In an attempt to capture and take over towns and villages in the Middle East, hostile terror groups are striking with attacks of every kind. Hana, a young mom with two children, is one of millions who fled Syria. “The soldiers arrived and our lives changed. They targeted the people.

There was a lack of security, water, electricity, and gas. Some days, we would go to bed without eating because we couldn’t leave the house to get food.” Hana and her son and daughter lived in immense fear. “When the bombing started,” she recalls, “we never knew exactly where it was going to come from.” Then, one day her building was hit. She and her children managed to escape the attack, but they had nowhere to live. Her family convinced her that this was the time to leave Syria as fast as she could. Hana explains, “So I left my house,” Hana says. “We didn’t take anything because we couldn’t get anything out.” The long and frightening bus ride to Jordan required traveling through constant checkpoints. Many Syrian people called this journey the “road of death” because there was no guarantee of making it to Jordan alive.

During the journey, Hana was told to put blankets and jackets over her children to cover them up on the bus so they wouldn’t be kidnapped. “My son was scared. I don’t know how to explain it. The fear was surreal,” she says. When they finally made it to the Jordan border, she was forbidden to cross. After spending several days at the border with her very sick daughter, they were sent all the way back home into Syria. She tried to make one room of her old home livable. They stayed there together—in ruins—for months. They were running out of food, and the children were not attending school. The bombing increased again. After a bomb hit the school, Hana decided they would walk from their home in Syria to the border of Turkey. She longed for security. And if going through Turkey would get them to Jordan, she was willing to walk the whole way. As a single mom, she was not looked on favorably. Although she was able to work hard, she and her children were seen as a burden to avoid.

Without any place to go, they ended up living in the factory where she was doing some sewing work when a little bit of hoped knocked on Hana’s door. “A woman came and asked me if I was Syrian. I told her yes and she invited me to get some help at a Christian organization that was helping refugees. I hadn’t heard of them, and I didn’t even care that they were Christian. My family and I needed help,” she explains. “These people stood with me. It was the only place. They listened to our stories, they played with my children.” Her children now attend a Christian dormitory school. Life continues to be hard in Jordan. There is no home to go back to anymore. Hana had to start completely over. But she holds onto hope. She says, “I don’t want a fancy life. I don’t want to be rich. I just want a small, safe house for me and my children. And freedom, to speak about what God has done for me. It is God that gives me faith.”

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