“My name is Rahaf and I am 14 years old. I came from Syria and I came because of the war. Planes started bombing over our homes and we had one bomb that fell on our house. So we lost our home, it was totally on the ground. We heard that some people were going to Lebanon so we decided to move to Lebanon.
We stayed in a cave for 5 days-there were 3 families in total. We weren’t able to leave the cave, because of planes were always bombing. I was so scared from the war and I had this heavy phobia. It was so difficult and my heart was so hard I wouldn’t feel anything. I was just numb. I used to feel very lonely. We finally settled in a tent city with many others who left our country. My heart was so sad.
At H4L, I learned how to pray, and then we learned how to worship. We used to sing also and I got attached to the worship songs and then I met Jesus through the songs and the prayers. When I met Jesus, my life and my heart changed. I was happy, and experienced peace to its best. I like to learn about Jesus more and more. I love English and I would like to be a journalist. I want to write stories about people and about Jesus. The thing I would like to convey is that I have fled the war, and this is all because of Jesus Christ. He has helped me find peace through all of this.”
In the tent settlement, Rahaf was introduced to Heart for Lebanon (H4L) and enrolled in their Non-Formal Education Program, which gives children the opportunity to learn basic Arabic, English, and math as well as character development lessons based on biblical principles. Most of these children, regardless of age, have been out of school for several years and would not be able to afford school or even have access to an education.
As part of H4L’s holistic care ministry, they also support the mothers of these children by offering English studies, encouragement and spiritual care through Bible studies, special gatherings, and personal visits.
H4L focuses intentionally on children who are referred to as the “Lost Generation,” consisting of over 1.2 million Syrian refugees- 52 percent are under the age of 18. These children have seen and experienced horrible things in their young lives and most of them have been out of school for over four years. Without an education, they will not develop the intellectual or vocational capacity and character necessary to find and keep a stable job in the future. These are the lost ones who often become prime targets for radical groups to exploit.
Learn more about how you can be involved in helping children and their families find peace amongst the rubble at heartforlebanon.org
Don’t miss Camille Melki, founder and CEO of Heart For Lebanon, speaking at Crossings on November 20th – details are available right here!
“Peace Among the Rubble” written by Pam Millington, Pastor Missions/Outreach Ministries