In early June, the Shepherd Society, a ministry and outreach branch of Bethlehem Bible College, sent a 5th team to Jordan to deliver supplies and hope to Syrian refugees in Mafraq, Jordan.
The first group consisted of five persons who arrived at Al-Mafraq at 3:00 pm. The second group arrived at 7:30 pm. Both groups worked under the leadership of the local Church of Missionary Alliance as they distributed food, mattresses, blankets and pillows to many families, some of whom had recently arrived in Jordan.
On the first day of our arrival, our group led by Rev. Nour Sahawneh, the church’s pastor, visited a family that had eleven members. Four of the daughters were suffering from burns due to a gas explosion, one son had died in a car accident and another son is mentally handicapped. We saw the children sleeping on the floor without mattresses or blankets. Our group was moved with compassion. One team member said that when he saw the family’s situation, he had to forcibly hold back his tears.
Another day the Lord opened doors to visit nearly twenty families along with the ministers of the church. We saw families living in utter poverty, but we were blessed because we were able to be a good testimony to them by showing Jesus’ love in words and actions. Some in our group, especially the new ones, were encouraged as they heard good comments and positive responses from members of the families we visited.
On another day we visited 28 families. Some of the families complained to us that in addition to their harsh situation as refugees, that they are aggravated by some Jordanians who feel that they (the Syrians) are being pariahs in Jordan. One of the church ministers told us that this is because the Jordanians, and the poor in particular, feel that the Syrians are receiving more support from humanitarian organizations than them. She added, at the same time, the Syrians tell the Jordanians that they have helped the economy grow in Jordan. The Lord opened the doors for us to pray with some families for protection, for provision for their needs and for special prayer requests.
On the fourth day we visited 35 families. In some homes we spend time hearing their horrific stories while in other homes we only distributed, mattresses, blankets and pillows, food and other emergency items. One family we visited were bereaving the loss of nine family members who were killed in a massacre that took the lives of forty people.
Three ladies from our team and I visited a man who was living by himself. He was depressed because his brother was killed before his own eyes. A rumor had spread twice about this man that he was killed in the war. And until now, his daughter is still assuming that her father died in Syria, although he is alive. We prayed for a speedy family reunification.
It is difficult to see and feel the suffering of these refugees but we are glad for the opportunities that the Lord has given us to share the love of Christ with them. We as Palestinian Arab Christians, are in a unique position to minister to these refugees since on the one hand we speak their language and since on the other hand, our people went through similar circumstances.
To our donors that made this and other trips possible, we wish to express sincere thanks. Without your generous contributions we would not have been able to carry out these missions. In addition, we thank you for your continued prayers for our mission and for the Syrian refugees.
Sincerely in Christ,
Deputy Director, The Shepherd Society
PS. All photos were taken by Mr. Saleem Anfous