In 2017, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that there are now 22.5 million refugees around the world.* The majority of these refugees are from South Sudan, Afghanistan and Syria. They are now scattered around the world, received by host countries, including Canada.
Every day, thousands of people have to leave their home and everything they own and flee, because of circumstances that threaten their lives, security, and religious freedom. Unfortunately, refugees, then face different kinds of struggles that challenge their physical, mental and emotional endurance. They are in desperate need of hope, encouragement, and assurance of a better life.
God’s Word can meet these needs and more! This is why the Bible Societies in Austria, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria are working hard to reach out to refugees in their countries, in partnership with the Canadian Bible Society. They are not only making the Bible available in the heart language of people, but also offer trauma healing sessions, introducing them to God’s healing Word.
Jordan: Amal’s story
Twelve-year-old Amal** grew up in Damascus, Syria. But her happy childhood was shattered by war. When violence broke out, Amal’s uncle was killed in a crossfire, his body left in the street. Half their house was destroyed by a bomb and Amal’s mother was terrified that the rest of the building would collapse on them. When chemical bombs started falling, the family escaped to Madaba, Jordan.
Even though they were finally safe, Amal and her siblings were deeply traumatized; loud noises and airplanes overhead terrified them. Her big brother was too scared to go to school. They barely slept.
But then, Amal and her brothers and sisters attended the local Bible Society Trauma Healing group – and life began to change. Our trained volunteers helped Amal make deal with her fears. They told her that Jesus loves her, they encouraged her and shared the Bible with her. Her emotional scars are now healing.
Amal’s mother, Wedad, said, “This healing took the children out of a place of fear and into a place of comfort. The children have started loving each other again. They sleep well. I’m thrilled to see them playing and singing.”
In 2016, 3,000 families attended the Bible-based Trauma Healing Ministry in Jordan. Pastor Amjad, one of the Bible Society volunteers, said when children first came to him, revenge was in their hearts and their drawings were full of guns.
At the end of the sessions, they drew children holding each other’s hands.
What does this mean for Yusef* who fled Syria for his life with his family?
Yusef’s story, Syria
Before war broke out, his was an ordinary Christian family. 46-year-old Yusef ran a printing business. When fighting came to Aleppo, their home was on the frontline. Bombs fell every day and each morning Yusef wondered if his family would all be alive come nightfall.
Yusef loves his homeland, but he said: “I knew I had to find a way to leave Syria when my five-year-old son saw an ISIS fighter kill a man in the street.”
Bundling his family into the car, Yusef fled with only a bag that contained their documents. By the time they reached a safe house, the car was riddled with bullets.
In these times of crisis, people of all faiths are turning to God’s Word. And today, as thousands of refugee families arrive here in Canada, they too need His Word and protection.
The Bible Society believes that the Bible can be a catalyst for change across the Middle East. In the face of extremist brutality, we’re seeing people drawn to an alternative message of love, kindness and forgiveness.
Share God’s Word with fleeing refugees
- $25 will give 3 refugee families Scriptures in Canada
- $30 will provide a Bible to three traumatized children like Amal
- $50 will give 6 refugee families Scriptures in Canada
- $75 will support our colleagues in Syria as they risk everything to share Scriptures there
- $100 will provide a Trauma Healing handbook to a facilitator and Bible booklets for 15 children
Help us share God’s Word with refugees and persecuted Christians in Syria, Jordan, Israel, Austria and Canada.
A young Syrian girl carries water containers in Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, which is home to more than 120,000 Syrian refugees. The Bible Society of Jordan is helping hundreds of Syrian refugees living outside the refugee camps by providing relief packages and offering emotional support. (Photo: Danish Bible Society/Synne Garff/Lotte Lyng)
John 3.16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
* Source: UNCHR Statistical Yearbook – Figures at a Glance http://www.unhcr.org/figures-at-a-glance.html
** Name changed to protect privacy