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  • The comments and opinions expressed herein on this web site do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and point of view of Lutheran Hour Ministries. Statements are made exclusively by the author and appear as written and have not be subject to the Lutheran Hour Ministries doctrinal review process.

Holistic Mission to Syrian Refugees

This week MELM staff visited a small camp of Syrian refugees in the vicinity of Saadnayel. We couldn’t miss it. The smell of garbage and sewage was strong from a distance, and the filthy mess is all around us. It is hard to imagine someone is living here.

This place is home to about 35 Syrian families who could not find anywhere better to live. They have slapped together 35 crude tents from scrap wood and plastic, including discarded billboard ads. Even this garbage dump looks good compared with the war back home that has destroyed their houses and killed their families.

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MELM relief team donated 35 packages of food and supplies to these refugee needy families that have nothing. Each one of them was thankful and appreciated our missions’ love and care for them.

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“There is no place else to go,” says Thaer, a father of three small children who fled the shelling in his home town of Homs two years ago. They moved to a small village where his wife’s father lives. Then the government shelled that village late last year and they were forced to move again to the Bekaa valley six months ago. “We don’t have money, clothes, nothing. I just left with my children. I had $500 cash, but I spent it to get here,” he explains.

He is 34, but his hair is marked with gray. “After two years of this, I look older,” he says with a weak smile and a sad face. “My life doesn’t exist anymore,” he says. “My future is lost, but I am worried about my children’s future. I feel like I can do nothing for them, and it’s awful.”

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Until the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad bombed and destroyed his house, Thaer al-Chemali was a truck driver who used to live in Baba Amr, the first suburb that revolted in Homs city. It was later named “the capital of the revolution”. As a truck driver he traveled to all the main cities of Syria. He frequently visited towns near the borders of Iraq, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon.

The father from Homs used to live a comfortable middle-class life before his house was destroyed. MELM director realized how bad it is for Thaer who traveled to many cities and towns in Syria and cannot return to his own town!

We pray for God to grant Thaer and his family to know Him so that they would enjoy peace and reconciliation.

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