Syrian Refugees in Jordan Experience Crisis and Christ

February 18, 2013

Since March 2011, more than 800,000 war-weary Syrians have poured into the neighboring countries of Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey, and Egypt. Over 300,000 have come to Jordan to seek sanctuary. The town of Mafraq is swollen with refugees, often with two to four families sharing one small, cramped apartment.

Christian Aid Mission helps indigenous mission agencies in Jordan reach out to traumatized families. With financial support provided by donors, these agencies deliver basic supplies, offer prayer and encouragement, and give out gospel literature. The following account, as quoted in a letter from one ministry leader, illustrates the peace one family received when they heard the good news of the Prince of Peace:

Ali´s story is just one of thousands that could be told by a Syrian refugee. The street in Mafraq where his family lives has a terrible smell. Trash, flies, and a child wearing shoes several sizes too big greeted us as we were welcomed and ushered into the house. Ali, 43, lives here with his wife, Sehm, and their six children, ages 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, and 1. Ali was an art teacher in Dara´a, a city in southwestern Syria, before he fled the bombing.

He had other guests who were in despair over all that had happened to them. Mohammad and his wife, Thur, friends of Ali´s who were also from Dara´a, had just arrived. In tears, Thur explained that her son was an officer in the Syrian Army, but had deserted to Turkey. Her other son had a bullet in his body that doctors couldn´t remove. Soldiers came to their house, burned it down, and beat Thur badly on her legs. Mohammad was crying, too, as his wife spoke.

“You see dead people everywhere,” Thur sobbed. “Men lying against walls with their hands tied behind their backs, dead. Everywhere women are being taken and raped.”

They needed a place to live, but Ali and Sehm explained that they could not house them because they already had their family of eight in two small rooms. They would, however, give them lodging for the night. Ali explained to them that if they register with a refugee ministry in a Mafraq church, they will be notified when a room becomes available. The ministry can also help with a mattress, a cooking stove, and food basics from the ministry warehouse.

Ali also told his story. While still in Syria, he was injured and had to have a metal rod inserted in his leg. It became infected and he had to go to Jordan for medical help. After returning to Syria, he heard that he had three death sentences passed on him. Ali fled to Jordan on April 27, 2011. He first fled to one Jordanian city, but it was hard for Syrians to stay there, and he was constantly afraid someone would catch his wife and children and force them to return to Syria. They were continually hiding, moving from house to house. He needed passports for his family, but it was hard to get passports from Jordan. People kept taking his money and cheating him. Eventually a Christian heard about his plight and helped him. That was March 25, 2012, the day he came to Mafraq, and the day he met the local aid worker who gave him all the furniture he has in the house. The worker gave him food packages and brought him more supplies every week. This same worker also arranged for other Christian friends to help him with the rent.

“I pray for peace and love between the people, and I am wishing all the success to the Christian ministry that is helping us. Our country was once our paradise. It is now destroyed, but we want to go back and tell about Jesus!” Ali exclaimed.

I truly thank the Lord for our friends from all over the world, who constantly lift us up in prayer and support us in every possible way to keep the Lord's ministry going. If it was not for that support, we would not have been able to minister to the Syrian refugees and show them God's love and provision in such turbulent times.