When do you feel like your family is most safe? When you tuck your children into bed at night? When the house is quiet and everyone is breathing deeply?
Labib and Bushra have only been thinking about the safety of their family since they fled their home. War was happening all around them. Thousands of people had already left out of fear months before. But they decided to stick it out a little longer. It was their home, after all.
But when their hometown was invaded, it was impossible to stay any longer. They had to leave—now! So they scooped up their three- and four-year-old sons and escaped. They got out just before their town was destroyed.
They arrived in a neighboring country with a new identity: refugee. And they weren’t the only ones. Nearly a quarter of the country’s population was refugees, and that caused problems. Refugees have few rights. The schools are so densely packed that it’s hard to enroll any more children. Jobs are scarce, and the ones available don’t pay very well.
Still, Labib and Bushra were able to scrape what money they had together to rent a small apartment. But that’s as far as the money went. No furniture. No blankets. The family slept together on the hard floor.
Until Labib landed a job, they couldn’t hope for better. Is this how we’re supposed to raise our children? they thought.
Then, a member of a local church came to visit them. When he saw their living situation, he returned with sleeping mats, blankets, sheets, pillows, even a carpet to lay on the floor. Those items came courtesy of your support to a refugee ministry. Can you imagine Labib and Bushra’s relief that night, putting their children to sleep on a soft mat, wrapped in a warm blanket, with a pillow under their heads?
That’s the feeling of safety.
Now, Labib has found a job working in iron. The job is physically demanding, and it doesn’t pay as well as the one he had in his home country, but he’s thankful for it. He and Bushra can provide for their children in this unfamiliar place.
In time, they hope to emigrate to another country, one where their sons can grow and learn. One that feels like home again.
Please pray for Labib and Bushra as they do all they can to provide for their family. Their story is like thousands more who risk poverty and insecurity to flee from danger.
Published May 23, 2019