Lebanon (MNN) — This summer, refugee mothers and fathers have to make the agonizing decision to go work their agricultural jobs and leave their children alone in the refugee camps. Summers are their busy season, and these jobs are often the only way refugee parents can earn a living.
However, as they leave home every day, they are anxious about what could befall their children while they are away.
Nuna* with Triumphant Mercy Lebanon (TM) says refugee children left alone are at-risk to predators or dangerous accidents.
“The child who is one or two-years-old sometimes is left under the care of the five or six-year-old…. Sometimes there is a fire because they don’t know the kids are burning on the stove or endangering the whole camp. They play or even fall and they need vaccines because of the iron and metal that goes into their bodies and nobody is there to help them. So many small incidents and accidents happen when no one is really there to take care of them.”
TM is lifting the weight of worry from refugee parents’ shoulders and giving the children a safe space to spend their days with six-week summer camps.
Nuna explains, “For six weeks, we take the kids and we do games, we teach them [Bible] stories, [and] we sing with them…. This is also a way to not only link and have a relationship with them,…but it’s also a time of healing their emotions and healing their fear.
“When we sit with them and play with them and even encourage them to believe there is a better future, this really helps them inside their families and with their parents.”
The ultimate goal of these six-week summer camps is to glorify Jesus and introduce refugee kids to their Heavenly Father who loves them.
“We teach them about who Jesus is and about the need for salvation. If you think about it, they can’t understand that principle. In their mentality, you need to do certain rituals to get to God. But then when we teach them the truth and how much God loves them and is close to them, He’s a Father to them. When we teach them this, there is a sense of security that comes on them.”
Nuna says TM needs the Body of Christ’s help this summer to love on refugee kids in Lebanon.
“They can bring teams that will just be love, show love to people, show love to kids, [and] play with kids. I need teams. I need people who would be alongside us. We are a very small team and when we want to do all these things that we need to do, many times I rely on a team.
“I have a team coming for two weeks in July [and] they will take part in the camp. But I have other weeks that are still very much on us with no external help. So if people are looking for a summer project they want to do, they are welcome to come here and be the hands and the feet of Jesus on the ground.”
Click here to contact TM and learn more about summer trips.
Even if you can’t go to Lebanon this summer, you can pray. Nuna says many refugees long to return home.
“Pray that God who has the hearts of kings in His hands will move the kings’ hearts…so these people who are so miserable can go back to a normal life. This is not a normal life. They try to make it normal, but this is not a normal life.”
Please pray also for TM’s summer camps to stir the hearts of refugee kids as they meet Jesus Christ. Ask God to lead these precious children and their families into a relationship with Him.
*Name changed for security purposes.
Header photo courtesy of Triumphant Mercy.