Our typical visit with Syrians involved a single family, 4-8 men, women or children. Doctors examined injuries, illness, reviewed medications and gave advice. Translators were involved and most important. But there’s always a shared human moment when no words are necessary…a blessing for all.
One day we visited three men including two brothers in Mafraq in northern Jordan. One man told us he had just been released from two years in prison where he was tortured. He was remarkably well, managed to smile a couple of times. Our doctor examined his bruises and skin rashes.
At the end of our visits, we asked to hear stories of their exodus which they freely gave. Then we would pray together. Jesus was with us. It was powerful. It was appreciated. It was awesome.
Salaam alaykum….Peace be with you.
I am here. On sacred ground. I am at Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan, now home of more than 150,000 Syrian refugees. It is an awesome place, with tents and families sprawling in all directions.
Word of tight security preceded our visit but our way was made straight. Our American host and driver contacted a friend who operates a sports class in the camp and provided easy passage through the entrance.
Once inside, you see rows and rows of UN-stenciled tents. Families cluster in groups. Produce and clothing are available in the bazaar, a destination of the day.
Children and parents escaping violence enter Jordan and are sent here to register and to make a home. And wait.
The Syrians inside Jordan are not allowed to work, although entrepreneurs can flourish. There are playgrounds and activities for the kids. For the parents, there is only time to contemplate and plan a life outside the camp. It won’t be soon.