Syria is now in its seventh year of civil war with a total of over 400,000 dead and 6 million Syrians displaced. And refugees continue to enter Jordan, a safe place. Reports from fighting around Mosul in Iraq indicate that possibly 20,000 more refugees may be on the way to resource-stretched Jordan. Our trip in March allowed us to see the ministry to refugees up close and in person again.
We met Ahmad Ali Alsoloum, from Damascus in Syria who had owned a clothing store until someone painted anti-government graffiti on the outside of his store. The next day, government soldiers came and took him to prison assuming that he was the one responsible. He was beaten and tortured in prison for five months. He had to flee with his children for their lives, leaving everything behind, and ended up also in Jordan. He’s been away from his country now for five years and still suffers with many medical issues including anxiety. Our partners in Jordan are working together to care for Ahmad and his family through this season of his life.
We also met Ronda Mosuli from the outskirts of Damascus. When she fled with her five children from Syria they left her husband behind. She’s not sure if he’s even still alive as she hasn’t heard from him since. She’s been living in Jordan for four years. After living in Zataari, the largest refugee settlement near the Syrian border for 9 months, they moved to a city south of there. Since she has five daughters to support, Jordanian families and churches have helped her with a place to live and essentials. Her daughters are not in formal education but taking supporting classes at a church that assists them. She shared that she’s feeling lost in life and praying God will show her a new path again. We promised her we would have our church pray for her.
We also visited a small refugee camp and met some of the people living there. We were impressed not only with their stories of survival but additionally their desires and effort to make the best of the situation in the environment that they have been forced into living.
There are 14 families from Syria, 300 kilometers north, living in this settlement. Since there’s no opportunity for formal education, one of the fathers has taken on the role as teacher, doing his best to ensure education of the children still happens. He isn’t trained as a teacher but passionate about the education of the kids at the camp. They use one of the tents for the school, teaching a wide age range of children. There’s a local church that visits once a week to care for these families. Our support will help them support the refugees.
Sewing Center in Amman
One of the best ways to support developing countries and refugees is by providing training, skills and tools to create income generation and self-sustainability. Our partner in Amman currently has one facility where women are trained in embroidery and sewing products that can be sold in their bookstore as well as globally. Sara, the young woman on the right was a veterinarian in Iraq and her husband worked with computers and the security camera business. She is learning the craft of embroidery to help provide income for her family.
Our partner hopes to expand this venture by acquiring another much larger building so more women can be trained in the craft. Our support may go to help them with this additional space.
We invite you to pray with us for these people and the hundreds of thousands in their same plight. We cannot fathom what they have endured and what they will continue to experience while waiting for their situations to change, but we can be thankful they will be cared for by our friends in Jordan while we support their ministry through our financial offerings.