Convoy of Hope Europe (COHEU) has been responding to the plight of refugees since 2013, when we started a feeding program for Syrian refugees in Jordan. Since then, the program provides 150 families with monthly food parcels as they await UNHCR processing and placement. In the last three years, an estimated 6,000 people have come through the program’s two locations in Irbid and East Amman.
One of those refugees is a Muslim woman named Celia. Celia was eight months pregnant with her third child when her house was bombed and her other two children were killed. Her husband disappeared that night, and she has no idea if he was killed or injured. Heavily pregnant, she didn’t know what to do. In the space of an hour, she lost her home and her family.
Joining a group of others who also lost their homes to bombing, Celia fled to Jordan. Before she could even apply for asylum with the UNHCR, she was hit by a car in Amman. She was taken to a hospital where she delivered her baby boy.
Without options on where to go from there, unable to work, she went to the mosques looking for help but was turned away.
A week later, a passing woman in the streets told her that people in a certain building in Amman were handing out food parcels. Celia walked to the doors of the church and was quickly brought in. When one of the helpers, Hakim, asked what they could do for her, Celia told him that over the past 10 days a voice had been repeating “Jesus, Jesus” in her head. She asked what that meant, and asked him to pray for her. He did, and led her through the prayer of salvation.
She next asked Hakim for a Bible, which she took home (along with her food parcel) and studied intently. A week later, she returned saying she had fallen asleep with the Bible open on her chest, and the Lord appeared to her in a vision. He told her “I am Jesus Christ, don’t be afraid. I’ll be with you and your son.”
Physical and social assistance from humanitarian organizations is important. Meeting the overwhelming needs of the refugees is difficult and complicated, and COHEU is committed to providing as many resources as possible, but we do not stop there.
We firmly believe that while refugees do not need more religion, they do need to see Jesus in what we do. They need to see a walking Jesus that helps them physically and socially, but most importantly, spiritually. If our humanitarian work is not bringing souls into the Kingdom of God, we have failed. Our goal is not to throw food off the back of a truck, but to invest in lives like Celia’s that come through our doors, to share the only true Hope in Christ, which is more valuable than any meal.
We make sure that every project we begin has a spiritual impact on the community as great as the physical and social impact. Most of our Adopt-A-Community programs are started in conjunction with a church plant, and we have carried those principles into our response to the Refugee Crisis. The plight of the refugees will get much worse before it gets better, but by being a walking Jesus through the situation, we hope to share a future of possibilities that would never otherwise be known.