Lebanon (MNN) – Farah was a young girl when her parents fled the war in Syria, abandoning her with distant relatives.
At the age of 14, those relatives forced her to marry the first man who paid for her to be his wife. Not long after, Farah became pregnant and was abandoned by her husband who wanted nothing to do with her or their child.
Desperate and with few choices available to a young, pregnant teenager, Farah fled Syria and was smuggled into Lebanon.
The Hope Ministry Center, located in the Bekka valley in Lebanon, took Farah in as part of their Bible study.
“Farah, at the beginning, had a lot of trouble (understanding) who Jesus was,” Camille Melki, the Founder and Executive Director of Heart For Lebanon said. “And if you asked her, she said, ‘I was rebellious, I was against the Gospel teaching,’ because she felt like she was betraying her own Muslim religion.”
But Farah saw something in the eyes of the staff at Heart For Lebanon that she hadn’t seen anywhere else: true love and compassion for Farah and her baby.
To provide the very basic necessities for her son, Farah worked from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. each day in the fields.
Now, 16 with a two-and-a-half-year-old son, Farah still attends Bible studies at the Hope Ministry Center.
Each day she faces the challenges of her past, living in a foreign country as a refugee, raising her son alone, and working meager jobs each day to provide for them.
However, she also faces each day with hope and the knowledge that Christ loves her.
“People like (Farah) need Jesus,” Melki said. “And they will only meet Him if you and I care for them.”
Heart For Lebanon cares for over 28,000 individuals. Many, like Farah, have participated in Bible studies and worship gatherings. But Melki understands that many do not.
Simply, he wants these refugees to understand that all the good things they are able to give out don’t come from their own goodness. They come from the love, faith, and mercy of Jesus.
Melki says the best way to support Heart For Lebanon and make an eternal difference is to extend a gift that helps ease not only the physical poverty of the 90% of war refugees living in extreme poverty in Lebanon, but also the spiritual poverty these people are facing.
Nearly 60% of the citizens of Lebanon have never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Visit HeartForLebanon.org to learn more about the work Melki and his team are doing to help refugees like Farah and find out how you can help provide the gift of eternal hope in Jesus.
Header photo is a representative image courtesy of Heart For Lebanon.