Summer of Hope helps little girl process trauma

By July 9, 2024

Lebanon (MNN) — Heart for Lebanon’s summer outreach began only last month, but it’s already bearing fruit.

“Heart for Lebanon is focusing this summer on children,” ministry co-founder Camille Melki says. “In the midst of despair, fear, and in the midst of pain, we want to bring a smile, a message of hope to children, both locals and refugees.”

The Summer of Hope program is a perfect escape for destitute kids like Zahrat Jamila.

“This girl whose name is ‘beautiful flower’ has such a sad, broken story of pain and suffering,” Melki says. “In the last two years, she wouldn’t engage in any verbal [or] nonverbal communication.”

Guided by spiritual leaders and mentors, children participating in #SummerOfHope will explore themes of hope, resilience, and the power of faith.
(Photo, caption courtesy of Heart for Lebanon)

The program’s arts and crafts class recently offered a breakthrough. “She, for the first time, took a piece of paper and drew the building of our center, and on top of that center, she put the cross and then a heart next to it,” Melki says.

“Though she’s not communicating with anyone, she’s keeping inside her that the safe place where she can find refuge and deal with her fears is the Hope Ministry Center in southern Lebanon.”

It’s a small yet meaningful step for a little girl working through trauma beyond her years. Pray she will find her voice as Christ heals her heart.

“Though she comes from a Muslim background, the cross [in her picture] shows us that all the Bible stories, the verses, and the songs that she had learned are affecting her,” Melki says.

“This is the hope that we receive as we share Christ’s hope with those who need it the most.”

Support from people like you makes the Summer of Hope program possible. Pray that Heart for Lebanon receives the resources it needs to reach more kids in need.




Psychosocial sessions will provide a safe space for children participating in Heart for Lebanon’s Summer of Hope program to explore and process their experiences of displacement, loss, and trauma. (Header image and caption courtesy of Heart for Lebanon)

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