Tales of Hope in the Midst of Tragedy: BBC Students Visit Iraqi Refugees in Jordan
Who is better to feel with you than someone who has been through the same trials as you? Who can feel with an Iraqi refugee better than a Palestinian refugee?
Thirteen of Bethlehem Bible College’s students, along with the Dean of Students, Mrs. Shireen Hilal, and the social worker of the Shepherded Society, Mr. Sari Zeidan, went to Jordan last week to serve among the Iraqi refugees there.
It is not the first time that the Shepherd Society along with BBC organized ministries to the refugees in Jordan. Twice a year, the Shepherd Society organizes a trip to Jordan to visit Syrian and Iraqi refugees who fled to Jordan due to civil war and persecution that are taking place in their countries. Palestinian people from BBC’s staff, students and the Shepherd Society go every year to stand with the refugees. They show them love by standing with them in their pain, praying with them, and giving them basic supplies like food and blankets. It is surprising what they receive in return.
Through Our Students’ Eyes
“One of the families I visited this time is a Christian Iraqi Family who used to live in Iraq. They fled to Jordan after one of ISIS’s guys stopped the wife while walking in the street one day, and he started to hit her and curse her because she wasn’t wearing the hijab. He hit her badly, and broke her nose. After that day, they moved to Jordan, and for two years she was healing from that trauma. They moved to Jordan without their two daughters because their daughters had moved to Canada. Now they are working on getting visas to Canada so they can reunite with their daughters.
What affected me most is that this family told us many times that the Bible said that there will be hardship, but after hardship, the sun will rise. We knew that this family were new believers; they asked us to pray for peace and security, and for them to reunite with their daughters again.
I experienced that we take a lot of things in our lives for granted, such as living with our families. It is a little thing that we even don’t think about or thank God for, but when I saw this family praying and waiting to see their daughters again, to sit at the same table for dinner once more, I felt how much I’m taking my life for granted. I’m asking God to provide things for me when I need to thank Him for the hundreds of blessings I have in my life.” Ranin Qumsieh, Biblical Studies student
“This is not my first time to Jordan to serve among the Syrian or Iraqi refugees. I visited tens of families, heard their hard stories, laughed and cried with them, and did my best to feel their pain. But this visit was remarkable, especially visiting this family in particular. Abed el Wade’ is an Iraqi refugee who is living with his wife and son in Jordan, and he is a very humble and nice person. I took my guitar with me, and we praised the Lord with three worship songs in his house. The last song touched his soul, and I felt that he was about to cry; the look in his eyes while singing this song was extraordinary. And when we prayed with him, he accepted the prayer and interacted perfectly with the words that came out of our mouths. We gave him a Bible as a gift, and then we discovered that he can’t read very well, so we gave him an audio Bible. He accepted the gift happily and gratefully, for he now can listen to the Word of God.” Alaa’ Khair, Biblical Studies student
“I visited an Iraqi family who looked death in the eye. ISIS terrorists attacked their house, and started to shoot randomly, but they escaped miraculously. What touched my heart is the hope they still have. What happened with them is something extraordinary. To have an armed man inside your house shooting you is something that doesn’t happen all the time, and something hard to forgive or forget. But that makes me believe that God is still in control, and they are alive now praising and worshiping God. He is truly in control of every detail in our lives, and He won’t ever leave us. I felt embarrassed of myself because those people are persecuted, they left their homes and properties behind, and came to Jordan, and they still trust in the Lord. Sometimes I face problems in my daily life that make me doubt the existence of God, and those people, after all what they have faced, still trust in the Lord, and believe that He is in control of everything. They were the ones who blessed me and changed my life!” Riham Khair, Mass Media student
“Don’t be surprised if you see a poor person being oppressed by the powerful and if justice is being miscarried throughout the land. For every official is under orders from higher up, and matters of justice get lost in red tape and bureaucracy.”
Ecclesiastes 5: 8
One thing is certain in all the chaos and injustice in this world; one thing that can’t be denied as true and trustworthy: Him. The Highest One, the Almighty One, the One who is still, and will always be in control!
Amira is the Communications Coordinator of Bethlehem Bible College. She is a committed Palestinian Christian who has a passion for writing about the intersection of faith and seeking justice for her fellow countrymen. To read more of her writings sign up for Bethlehem Bible College’s monthly newsletter.