AMMAN, Jordan – “I’m scared that if I go into the kitchen, I’ll grab a knife and kill myself.”
Khalid* spoke many times of suicide during the 90 minutes I spent with him. His story, like those of many other refugees who have fled the ongoing civil war in Syria, is one of deep loss and desperation.
One of his children, a 2-year-old twin son, was killed in January when high winds knocked down the family’s tent in the refugee camp in Jordan where they were staying. A tent pole penetrated the boy’s chest in the middle of the night.
Photo by Jedediah Smith
Friends sneaked the child’s body back into Syria in a water cooler so he could be buried beside his grandmother on a hillside near the border.
“Dying by a bullet or a bomb would have been easier,” the 26-year-old father said during our recent conversation. “We came from Syria to protect our women and children, to give them a chance to live. And there’s nothing here. No food. No water. … It’s cold. It’s wet. … There’s nothing. … Nobody listens to us. Nobody cares. … We don’t have anyone but Allah.”
My heart broke for this young man and his family. I wanted to tell Khalid not to give up. But before I could get the words out, he told me our visit had returned a glimmer of hope to his heart and soul.
My eyes began to fill with tears. I told him I would not forget him, and that I would continue to pray for him and his family.
I pray that this young Syrian refugee family – and the hundreds of thousands like them – will come to be held snugly in the Father’s arms as they gain access to God’s Word and embrace Christ, their eternal hope.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Joseph Rose serves in the Middle East as a photographer and videographer. Donations for human needs efforts like in Syria may be made at www.imb.org under the “Give” tab.)