Note: This post is from our archive. A 2021 update to Sahar's story can be found here.
Nawal* and Sahar* are sisters from Homs, Syria. While both were pregnant with their first children, they had to flee because of a 4-year siege of their home city. They arrived in Jordan with their husbands and their parents. Soon after their arrival both Nawal and Sahar gave birth to their first children, two boys. Recently Sahar had her second child, a beautiful little girl. Their husbands have done everything in their power to provide for the families. They have sold light bulbs on the street, helped install satellite dishes and many other jobs. Sometimes they worked for over a month and the employer did not pay them. They could do nothing about it because refugees have no legal rights for employment.
In 2016, Nawal and Sahar’s parents immigrated to Chicago. They were so excited that their mom and dad could start a new life in America, but greatly saddened to see their familiy unit torn apart. In Syria their families had all lived near one another. In early September, Nawal received a call from the United Nations telling her that she, her husband and 4-year-old son were eligible to move to Scotland. While this was wonderful news, it was so difficult for her to say “yes” because it meant leaving Sahar behind. Sahar is the only one left in her family. While Sahar was so happy for her sister, there was also great sadness. Would she ever see her sister again? Her son, who has epilepsy, had always been best friends with his cousin. Would they ever see each other again?
On Wednesday night, January 17, both families crammed into a van filled with six large pieces of luggage to go the airport in Amman, Jordan. The ride to the airport was quite silent. When it was time to say goodbye Sahar would not let go of Nawal. She couldn’t bear the thought of her sister leaving her, not knowing what the future would hold. There were tears of joy, but also tears of sadness. Nawal begged our Global Partners staff not to forget Sahar. Her last words to our staff was, “please help the refugees. Our lives are too difficult. Please help them just like you have helped me”.
Today Nawal and her family are in Scotland starting a new season of life. Sahar, her husband and two children are sitting in a cold apartment wondering what their future holds. Will they ever receive a call from the UN? If so, will they go to the UK or US to be near family or will another country accept them?
This story could be told thousands of times over for refugees all over the world. We are so thankful that for the past 15 years Global Partners has been in Jordan living life with refugees like Nawal and Sahar.
*Names changed for protection.
When Laurie first traveled to Haiti years ago, her eyes were opened to the idea that anyone could spread God’s love, even her! She immediately...
When Laurie first traveled to Haiti years ago, her eyes were opened to the idea that anyone could spread God’s love, even her! She immediately gained a passion and a heart for Haiti. Laurie and her husband began to sponsor a Haitian child through Compassion International. She was excited about the possibility of meeting her child face to face. When Laurie decided to take a trip to Haiti with GPPD in 2017, she asked our team and it ultimately worked out that they could meet.
When Laurie went to Haiti in 2017, meeting her Compassion Child did not serve as her sole purpose on the trip. As the team was organized, the trip leader asked each team member what their gifts and talents were, so everyone could serve in their area of gifting. Laurie shared that she loved to cook, clean, craft and sew. She soon found out that Amber (our Rev Home Director) had just purchased a new sewing machine, and the girls needed guidance on how to operate it. She was excited to guide these girls and use her gifts to teach them.
As soon as Laurie entered the Rev Home on her trip, she was immediately drawn to Desline, a young girl living in the Rev Home. Desline was shy and quiet, but Laurie was still able to talk to her and ask her questions about her interests and her future. Desline immediately responded, “Haiti is not like America, it’s not like girls can choose what we want to do with their future.”
When Laurie started teaching the girls how to operate their new sewing machine, another girl was so proud of herself when she completed sewing a small lavender pouch. She shared that a previous school teacher had criticized her sewing skills and told her that she could never make a living by sewing. At that moment, Laurie felt connected to all of the young women in the Rev Home and wanted to continue to teach these girls and help give them confidence in themselves and their futures. She felt a strong connection to Desline, and decided to begin sponsoring her after returning to the states.
The next year, Laurie returned to Haiti and led a Bible study and worship with the Rev Home girls. She wanted them to realize that their worth was in God’s eyes, not just through their gifts and abilities. Laurie saw a huge difference in confidence in the young women when she returned that year. “Each year the girls get older, and Amber’s influence on the girls continues to change their attitude and feelings of empowerment to chase their dreams,” Laurie says. “Having women my age on these teams, help the girls know that they are cared for, empowers them to be self-supportive and gets them excited about their futures.”
*This blog post is from our archive.
When Ian went to India this year*, God showed him amazing things that he never expected. It was his first time traveling this far from home without...
When Ian went to India this year*, God showed him amazing things that he never expected. It was his first time traveling this far from home without his family. From the moment he left Central Pennsylvania, God made it known that Ian and his team were not in control, but He was. Even though they had a set itinerary and a plan in place, God decided to lead them in a different direction and determined their steps. Their flights were delayed several times, they missed flights and their host in India’s father passed away, which interrupted a lot of their team’s plans.
The highlight of Ian’s trip, though, was getting to see the water well his relay team ran for in the Harrisburg Marathon that past fall.
“We traveled for a while on this rural dirt road and I have to admit I was a bit car sick,” Ian said. “All of a sudden, there was a group of people in the middle of the road. We came to a stop and I realized they were there to celebrate with us! We were received with laughter, shouts of praise, smiles, hugs, and handshakes. It was truly overwhelming and I had tears flowing down my cheeks as we walked across the field to the water well. There were about 100 people at the water well dedication to celebrate.”
The way that God worked through Ian in the unexpected experiences, the people he met, and the emotions that he had, were what made this trip to India one of the most amazing experiences he ever had. This trip was a reminder to Ian to not hold on too tightly to his plans, because God always has something better planned.
*This blog post is from our archive.
After Haiti’s 7.0 magnitude earthquake in 2010, God put a heavy burden on Scott and his family's hearts. The precious people there were hurting...
After Haiti’s 7.0 magnitude earthquake in 2010, God put a heavy burden on Scott and his family's hearts. The precious people there were hurting, and Scott was determined to help in some way. When Scott’s church took a trip to Haiti soon after the earthquake, Scott was struck with compassion for the children he met there. A few years later these same children became a part of our Haiti Rev Home.
After meeting many of the children in 2010, Scott decided that his family should sponsor a child. They started sponsoring Jovenel, and it was like he instantly became a part of their family in Alabama. In 2012, Scott’s whole family went to meet Jovenel for the first time, and they fell in love with him even more. Every year since, Scott’s wife Lindsey makes sure to visit him every summer for his birthday, and the whole Middleton family visits him every year for Christmas.
Scott, of course, loves traveling to Haiti to visit Jovenel, but he also has been to Jordan two times to partner with what God is doing among refugees. The first time he went in 2018, he was a little overwhelmed by the major influx of refugees in the Middle East. He also felt humbled and overwhelmed with love for them. He returned to Jordan again this year to care for more refugees.
When Scott isn’t traveling or visiting Jovenel, one of his passions is cycling. He’s been cycling for 10 years and sets up rides with his friends often. Last year, he had a great idea to combine his two passions: raising money for the Rev Home and the refugee crisis while he cycles. He set a goal to cycle in every county in Alabama and fundraise while doing so. Although he has had a few setbacks, and continuing his journey longer than expected, he’s still motivated to reach his goal.
“There are people in Haiti and Jordan that don’t have options that I do,” Scott said. “In Haiti, there is so much poverty and not many opportunities. If I can raise money to help provide education...I know they’ll begin to have more opportunities in the future.”