Our Students Visit Syrian Refugees for the 10th Year
Like we do every year, the students of Bethlehem Bible College traveled to Jordan to serve our beloved Syrian refugees there. The students were joined by a group of graduates of the college and some of the academic staff. Rev. Dr. Jack Sara joined the team for two days, during which he expressed his great joy in this ministry that the college carries out every year in cooperation with the Shepherd Society, and with the efforts made by the Alliance Church in Mafraq. The team organized a summer camp for the refugee children and a special activity for women there, in addition to visiting refugees in their homes and spending time with them.
Like every year, we want to leave you with some comments from the students about the ministry and how it changed their lives and their perspectives.
Mr. Gabriel Hanna, Deputy Academic Dean, shared: “My family and I were excited to go to Mafraq city in Jordan to participate in helping our beloved Syrian refugees. Being a refugee myself, I have some understanding of what is going on and happening around me. This is the fourth time for me to go to serve Refugees, but this time was special, as my wife, Taghreed, and my two sons, Amir and Nicola joined me. Even if we were refugees, we still can help others even a little, because my faith tells me to sow seeds, and God is the one who sees everything, grows, and blesses. We cannot solve all of their problems, but with a little love, we can make a big difference in people’s lives. I was eager for my family to go with me to implant in my children a love of service and to share with them the love of people and pleasing God. We do not have much, but working with love and trusting that God will grow and help our work is a great thing. Great joy and indescribable peace fill you when you see your loved ones from family, students, and friends working as one team to make an impact on the hearts and minds of people.”
“I have never seen the world from this point before. I remember when I was a child, I used to run with joy into my father’s arms after he returned from work carrying gifts and sweets for me. There, I saw the same joy in the eyes of children when we visited them carrying simple gifts. Their happiness with this simple gesture has sent great joy to my heart. I saw simple people with a beautiful soul who were thirsty to hear the word of God and to pray. Their love and acceptance of us was the real blessing; they were indeed a blessing for us before we were a blessing for them.”
“After many years of war and displacement, and after we thought that the affairs of the refugees had settled in Jordan, we saw the exact opposite, as many families still suffer from extreme poverty. We visited a family consisting of the father, mother and seven children, who lived in a hut built by the father, but they were forced to vacate their home, and hence to rent a new house, which they cannot afford. This made me think about how we simply do not appreciate having a safe roof and a home to live in.”
“I have been greatly affected by the church and the church’s ministry, and our role as a college in this ministry. It was a great thing for me to be part of a group of people of different ages united together for Him only, for the glory of God that bears fruit in people, through ordinary people who do things that may be simple, but its results are extraordinary, thanks to their Savior, Jesus Christ.”
“As if all the injustice they have suffered and the displacement they have experienced was not enough, some refugee children in the refugee camps were born with autism. I thought to myself, is it not enough for them through all the daily suffering to be burdened with a child with autism who needs special care, when they themselves can hardly afford living and taking care of their children and their families? God answered me: ‘But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Luke 18:16). This made me see perfection in this child, despite his condition, and hence I was able to see God’s work in his life and the life of his family.”
“We visited a family with 6 boys and girls, and we gave them toys and gifts, which made them very happy, as if they were receiving gifts for the first time in their lives. The eldest son, 15 years old, who was a distinguished student in Syria, caught my attention. After they sought refuge in Jordan, and the conditions of their lives changed, he began to feel that he was a worthless person and expressed that he longed to be one of the distinguished students again. We spoke to him and told him that Christ sees him as special and that he created him for a purpose, no matter what the circumstances of his current life are. It was a very moving moment when we saw the joy in the eyes of all the family, which made me realize that there are great blessings in my life that I did not appreciate, and that I have everything I need and more. I learned to thank the Lord for the life He gave me and for the ministry I am part of.”
This is our goal in this yearly ministry – to be a blessing to those in need of financial, moral, and spiritual support, and to be blessed in turn during our journey.