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SEEKING REFUGE

Sami

Rasha

Halil

“I AM SO INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL FOR THIS CHANCE TO DREAM AGAIN.”

“I THANK GOD FOR EVERYTHING, FOR THE DIFFICULT AND THE BEAUTIFUL THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN MY LIFE.”

“THE NAZARENE SCHOOL ALWAYS ENCOURAGES US AND GIVES US HOPE TO CONTINUE.”

the area. Finally, his father was able to make contact with family members, and Sami and his family crossed into their new home. But Sami’s life had started to come undone before they even left Syria. His friends were leaving daily, and he was lonely. He couldn’t attend school regularly because of the war. “When something as simple as stability is absent in your life, it can have negative affects elsewhere,” he says. But in Jordan, Sami started attending a Nazarene school every day. The friends he made stayed in school, too. He has found stability, and now he dreams of becoming a doctor one day. “Learning and gaining progress in my studies has made me hopeful for my future,” he says. “Based on how my life has been up until this point, I am so incredibly grateful for this chance to dream again.”

supposed to meet her father there, but when they arrived, he left for Turkey. They haven’t heard from him since. Although her two brothers are working to help their mother with household expenses, money is scarce. Thankfully, Rasha received a scholarship to attend the Nazarene school nearby. At first, she had a hard time fitting in. She didn’t know English, which is the language taught at the school, and she even struggled to understand her Lebanese classmates. But her teachers and a new friend encouraged her to continue with her studies. Now, she also dreams of becoming a doctor and wants to help people in Syria. “The Nazarene school gave me hope and confidence to fight for a better tomorrow,” she says. Although Rasha initially struggled in school, she is now at the top of her class in eighth grade. “I thank God for everything, for the difficult and the beautiful things that happened in my life,” she says. “I believe that God is always with us and He will never abandon us. This is my hope in life.”

HOPE TO CONTINUE: HALIL’S STORY

MY HOPE IN LIFE: RASHA STORY “We left our country, Syria, because of the current situation,” says Rasha*, 13, with a quiet, sad voice. Four years ago, she came to Lebanon with her mother and four siblings. They were 22 | www.ncm.org

After his father was kidnapped in Syria, Halil* and his mother and brother fled to Lebanon. “I love my father and I am missing him every day,” says Halil, age 14. “If he exists our lives will be easier and more beautiful. I love my mom. She sacrificed so much for us.” Today, Halil attends a Nazarene school, where he is working hard to catch up after missing many years of formal education. He says the school has helped him make huge progress in his education. He holds on to the hope that he will be able to achieve his dreams and help improve life for his family. “The Nazarene school always encourages us and gives us hope to continue,” he says. “They are like a family to me and they help me move forward and evolve in life,” he says. Halil has also found hope in his newfound faith. “My spiritual life is great,” he says. “I know Jesus, and I took Him as a personal savior.” *Children’s names are changed for their protection.

NCM Magazine/Summer 2017  
NCM Magazine/Summer 2017  

Compassion as a lifestyle