International (MNN) – World Refugee Day, June 20, is a day that remembers those 65.3 million refugees who have been forced from their homes due to violence, conflict, and natural disasters. It remembers all that they have lost and all whom they have lost. It is a day for the world to stand with and encourage refugees who have faced horrible trials and remained strong.
“They have lost their homes, their clothes, even for their children. They lost their school, their favorite books, toys, and even their childhood friend,” Tent Schools International’s Rawan Haddad says.
Haddad has ministered to and lived among refugees in camps in Jordan and near the border of Syria and heard many of their stories. She says after fleeing their countries, the people are hurting and traumatized.
Trauma among Refugees
“Many arrive with painful memory of seeing their parents or their siblings killed before their eyes. When you just remember the images of blood still fresh in their mind, their hearts are full of fear, memories of trauma that will continue to wake them from their sleep of many months.”
The trauma children face has inflicted mental and educational debilities. Haddad says some children and teenagers have even forgotten how to read and write because they are still tormented by fear.
Further, the pain goes deeper as Haddad shares refugees who have suffered war and are fleeing into Jordan or Lebanon have lost hope for the future. The children see this hopelessness in their parents and siblings and feel it too.
“They have seen the near destruction of their homeland, escaping with ISIS at their backs. They understand that they will not return to their country in any normal way,” Haddad says.
Without school or a purpose that pushes children to continue striving and living, they have no direction and feel unvalued.
A Healing Purpose
To show love and help restore purpose in kids’ lives, Tent Schools is establishing schools in refugee camps. This is giving children a chance to continue earning an education and even feel like they have similar privileges to other children who are not in the refugee camps.
“We need to be a voice for them and we need to give them back the right to an education,” Haddad says.
“They desperately need encouragement and they want to feel valuable and necessary in their new refugee communities. Without ability to read and write, without an education, they are left behind.”
Giving an education to these children restores the hope of a future. Tent Schools is helping children to learn English, how to read and write, and to become more advanced in technology.
However, Haddad says that only God can give these children purpose and healing, which is why the ministry prays over them and hopes to lead them to Christ.
“If we do not let them feel like this, these children, motivated by loneliness and hurt with regret and we may open the door to a new generation of terrorism strengthened by the spirit of revenge because they saw their parents or siblings killed in front of their eyes.”
Tent Schools invites you to encourage and stand with refugees today through your prayer and giving.
Also, pray the Lord would guide refugees to Him and that He would provide for and heal them.