Young Syrian Refugee: 'I Waited With Blood-Soaked Clothes'

Syria refugees
CBN, in partnership with a Lebanese aid organization, is helping some of the 2 million Syrian refugees, such as 17-year-old Faraj and his family. (CBN News)

As fighting in Syria rages on, there appears to be no end in sight to the humanitarian crisis.

Two million refugees have already poured into neighboring host countries. The United Nations says the exodus continues at a rate of 3,000 people per day.

CBN, in partnership with a Lebanese aid organization, is relieving some of the stress.

CBN News joined 17-year-old Faraj as he inched his way along a pathway to the family tent. It was a tedious and painful ordeal—one he wouldn't make without his mother's help.

He nearly died in Syria when a rocket exploded in his living room, tossing Faraj like a rag doll from a second story balcony. The fall broke his arm; hot shrapnel tore into his chest and back.

"I didn't know what happened. I fell unconscious and did not wake up until I was in the hospital here in Lebanon. The doctors didn't think I would survive," Faraj recalled.

Faraj's little brother Mohammed has his own challenges. He's still traumatized by their father's death. Mohammed was sitting beside his father in a car when a sniper's bullet struck his dad's head.

His father's bloodied body fell into his lap.

"I phoned my mom and told her what happened," he said. "I waited there with blood-soaked clothes until someone came to pick me up."

The family also suffered a third tragedy when Faraj's 19-year-old brother disappeared during the fighting more than 20 months ago. Family members think he was either captured or killed.

CBN is partnering with Heart For Lebanon to help refugees—including Faraj and his family—with monthly food rations and medical treatment. Each have experienced hardship, suffering or death.

Ruqaya, a 25-year-old mother of four, traveled to Lebanon alone with her children. She left Syria after a sniper killed her husband.

"The worker who visits us is close to our heart," she explained. "We lack nothing because she is a good lady. She has compassion for us and a sweet heart."

A family of 10 arrived the day CBN News visited one of the camps. Military planes had bombed their Syrian village.

"We came with nothing but the clothes we are wearing," the father told us.

The United Nations reports 650,000 Syrian refugees now live in Lebanon. In this country of 4 million, that means one of every six people is a Syrian refugee.

It's the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today and they have sought refuge in camps like the one CBN News visited in Lebanon's Bekka Valley, not far from the Syrian border.

They're getting food, they're getting water, shelter and safety here, but they say what they need most of all at this time is education for their children.

Heart for Lebanon has responded, helping at-risk children develop emotionally, socially and spiritually.

Fatimah is a shy 10-year-old who is making remarkable progress in and out of the classroom. She lives in a tent with her father's two wives and their 15 family members.

Fatimah's school attendance pleases her father, who says she has benefited from school.

"She is better educated than before—and has even learned English," he said.

"Fatima has become more confident and outgoing," a worker for Heart For Lebanon who makes regular visits to Fatima's home told CBN News. "Now she can interact with her friends and teacher more easily and she knows now that God loves her unconditionally and completely."

"Her trust in God has built her trust in her own abilities and has given her a newfound trust in others," the worker said.

Six-year-old Mohssen is among the Heart For Lebanon students receiving much-needed meals. Not only has he learned to read and write, Mohseen has also been taught moral lessons based on biblical values.

His mother said that's made a big difference in her son's behavior.

"It's good for him to study and play in a good place," she said. "He now takes instruction, is more obedient and respectful, and doesn't use as many bad words as before. "

Last year, 6-year-old Siham spent much of her time dodging cars along the road, begging for money. She now has a safer and brighter future attending Heart For Lebanon classes. She enjoys reciting the English alphabet.

And for a few moments each month, the Syrian refugee kids laugh and maybe even forget their hardship far from home.

Heart For Lebanon volunteers teach them songs, play games with them and perform skits. Many have moral lessons taken from the Bible. One skit performed teaches them about sharing.

CBN and partner Heart For Lebanon are demonstrating the love of Christ, meeting the physical needs of refugees in crisis, reaching out—touching Syrian hearts and young lives in Lebanon.

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