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Stories

Ayad’s story – from despair to hope

Ayad is a quiet man in his fifties with a broad smile on his face. But when he begins to share the story of his family’s trials in Iraq and their journey to Lebanon he becomes more and more animated.

Ayad’s story begins in 2007 when a simple wave to passing US troops in his street, in Baghdad marked him and his family out to local Islamist militants.

Shortly afterwards a bomb exploded outside their family home and his daughter, who was only four years old at the time, was caught in the blast. She was severely injured.
‘Her leg was hanging by its skin nearly severed,’ he said, ‘but we couldn’t get her to hospital for two days because it was so dangerous outside.’

Eventually the little girl was operated on and the operation was successful. However, the family’s joy was short- lived. Being Christians in their neighbourhood meant that they were easy preay to Islamic militants who kept threatening them. ‘You are Christians, wicked people. We will slaughter you if you don’t leave,’ they said.

Ayad’s family had no option but to leave their home in the middle of the night and travel to Kurdistan. From there they travelled to Lebanon.

In Lebanon Ayad’s family received help from one of Release’s mission partners. They received much needed food packages, hygiene and cleaning products and most of all,
a warm welcome from Christians who came to visit them and pray with them.

Ayad’s family is one of 200 Christian refugee families who are receiving practical and spiritual help from our Release’s mission partner in Lebanon.

Every month each family receives a food package, including cooking oil, rice, lentils, pasta, pulses and tinned goods. In addition they are given a large bag of cleaning and hygiene products, such as washing powder, soap and disinfectant.

Besides meeting some of their practical needs, of the refugee families our partner is also helping them to address their emotional and spiritual needs. They do this through home visits, Bible study discussions, prayer gatherings and fun activities for children.