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Syrian Refugees Hope in Christ as Nightmare Deepens

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A 6-year-old Syrian refugee girl saw that her mother was desperate to feed her family. Then she saw “the prophet Jesus,” as He is known to Sunni Muslims.

In their tent at a makeshift refugee camp in southern Turkey, Amira* had been sad the night before as she lay down to sleep on a smelly rug. For days her mother had bemoaned their shortage of food, and for years – nearly as long as Amira could remember – her father had no feet. Every day, the sight of his two stubs reminded her that he had stepped on a landmine back in Syria.

Amira, her parents and three brothers would go long stretches without water for drinking or basin bathes, and the stench in the tent grew stronger each day. As she tried to sleep wrapped in a dust-laden blanket, Amira was hungry. She was saddened also that her illustrated children’s book about Jesus had gone missing. The men who came regularly to bring food and water to the refugees had given it to her.

“When these children grow older, may they remember that it was the Christians who gave them toys to play with as well as food and water,” the director said.

A cousin had shared some pickles and dates with her that day, and her mother had obtained a large bag of chickpeas that she had begged off one of the townsfolk nearby, but there was no oil for frying the mashed legume into falafel patties. Amira fell asleep to the sound of her mother weeping for lack of cooking oil.

The next morning, she told her mother that she had dreamt of a truck bringing goods to them. On the truck, she said, was a man in a long white robe “just like the Prophet Jesus,” who had said that today the truck would come to help them.

Later that day, after a truck from an indigenous Christian ministry arrived, Amira stood in line with her mother. They spoke of their need and her dream to a translator, who then told the ministry director. Grateful to receive cooking oil and water, as well as food, Amira’s mother invited the director and his translator to their tent.

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