Saida sits in a dark, tiny attic room in Lebanon, raising three small children on her own. All she has is an old wardrobe, a mat, a low camp bed, and a small television.
‘We came here as refugees from the war in Syria. I lost my parents,’ she said simply.
The family thought they had reached safety, but then a year ago, her husband was detained without warning.
‘The forces came and arrested him. They accused him of having illegal papers, but up to now they can’t find anything against him,’ says Saida.
‘There was a lawyer who I paid almost US $2,000 (approx. £1,500) to when my husband was captured. He didn’t help, he just took the money. I hired another lawyer, but he also wants nearly $1,000 (approx. £750). I can’t pay him, so he won’t release the case to another lawyer. So I’m now stuck, waiting for God’s help.
Saida continues, ‘One night we were asleep. My baby son was sleeping next to me and he started screaming. There was no electricity – we have no generator – so I turned on my mobile phone for light and I saw something crawling near the wall.
‘He was really crying hard, screaming and shouting. I touched his leg and I felt blood. He was bleeding for almost an hour and a half, and he didn’t stop crying hard. And I was really scared. In the morning I took him to the doctor. The doctor gave him some medicine and I’m still giving it to him up to now, so that any disease will leave his body.’
Saida is doing all she can to keep the rats from biting her baby again and to secure her husband’s release from prison – all this while she grieves the loss of family and country.
There’s only one reason why, in spite of all this, Saida manages to smile and stay hopeful. That reason is the ongoing care and practical support she is receiving from the staff of Heart4Lebanon – an organisation Tearfund proudly supports in its work. Heart4Lebanon is also calling on its connections and raising her husband’s case to various authorities who have promised to look into it.
‘Bless you, you’ve been so good to us, helping us,’ says Saida. ‘We’re just living on the support of the organisation. I can’t work, so the food packages help me very much. This is the only food we receive, so the rice, the oil, everything, it’s really helping me out.
‘I just want to thank you, and may God give you strength. Thank you for helping people. God is protecting us.’
Pray for Saida and her family. Ask God for justice to prevail and for her husband to be released. Also, pray for good health, safety and protection for their three children.
Give thanks for organisations such as Heart4Lebanon, which are working to bring aid and hope to families just like Saida’s. Pray that they will be encouraged and strengthened in their endeavours.
Lift up all those affected by war. Pray for peace to be restored, and violence and conflict to come to an end.
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