Last year, OneHope partnered with Near East Initiatives (NEI) to conduct a qualitative research study so we could better understand the complex needs and actual challenges faced by refugee children and families who fled from the war in Syria. The outcome of this study is to equip faith-based organizations with relevant information on how to effectively and appropriately minister to the short and long-term needs—spiritual and otherwise—of Syrian refugees and their families.
You can read the full Children in Crisis: A Qualitative Assessment of the Syrian Refugee Experience Among Children & Youth report on our website for free.
Many Syrian children are in pure ‘survival mode’.
OneHope was launched after I had a vision of Satan attacking the children and youth of the world, and reading this report, I feel like I am now living through parts of the vision I saw back in 1987. Because we care so deeply, and feel called to make sure that every child around the world receives the hope and healing offered in God’s Word, we must trust that even in war-torn, seemingly inaccessible places like this, God will make a way. We believe that He will remove the barriers and open the doors and grant His favor; and we also trust that He is already stirring the hearts and minds of contacts there who will allow this to happen.
“There is no church in Syria.”- Khadija, 13
Here is our plan to minister to Syria’s refugee children and their families:
- Create a 20-minute short film depicting the real-life experiences and struggles of a Syrian refugee family. The redemptive narrative will be based on a true story of a refugee family.
- Equip a team of Syrian Christians to show the film in refugee camps, as well as community centers and churches in Lebanon and the surrounding areas. The team will facilitate guided discussion groups after the showings.
- Distribute a printed piece to be used in the discussion groups. (We are not allowed to bring religious materials into refugee camps, but the hope is that the children will ask the team questions, opening the door to share their testimonies and Scripture as appropriate.)
Filming for this new resource is planned for September, with the goal of launching the program in early 2015.
“I used to want to be a pilot; now I Just want to finish school.”- Abdullah, 16
We have felt called to do the hard work of creating a contextualized, specific program not only for Syria’s child refugees and their families, but as a foundational program that can be culturally adapted and contextualized to minister to any children and their families who find themselves in a war-torn, refugee situation.
The heart of God is broken when He sees the tragedy of children in the refugee camps of Syria, and as His children, our hearts should be broken as well. Let us take these children to our hearts. Let us pray daily for God’s love and mercy to touch them, and let us make the investments that are necessary in time and energy and coin to make sure every child in those refugee situations has a chance to hear and know that God does love them—that a Heavenly Father is willing to reach out to them.
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