Buchra’s story is not that unusual for a child displaced by war. What makes it extraordinary is a stranger’s investment in her future.
As civil war swallowed Syria, Buchra and her family fled to Lebanon. Although technically safe, the children weren’t allowed to go to school*. But Buchra continued her education with the help of Heart for Lebanon under its H.O.P.E. (Helping Overcome Poverty through Education) program.
A born teacher
Tom Atema, of Heart for Lebanon, says, “She was way ahead of her class academically, her English is probably better than mine. What was really interesting to me when I met her was (not only) that she loved Jesus passionately, but (also that) she loved telling stories.” Overflowing with enthusiasm and a passionate hunger for learning, Buchra shared what she had learned with anyone who would listen.
When she aged out of the H.O.P.E. program, she tested into a private school. In her new school, she was an inspiration for the other students. As she eagerly navigated her lessons, she taught them to other children in her tent settlement.
“She’s teaching them English,” Atema says, “she’s teaching them math. She’s teaching them Bible stories–sharing her faith through her love for education.”
“Education is enlightenment,” Buchra says. “These children are illiterate, and I am happy to be able to help my community this way.”
A brighter future
Buchra hopes go to college and earn a professional teaching degree. That’s a tall order, and many obstacles stand in her way. However, even if she can’t continue her education, Atema knows she will be using her natural gift for teaching anyway.
This kind of passion, he believes, is how the Gospel will penetrate the Near East. If you reach the child, you reach the family; if you reach the family, you reach the community; if you reach the community, you can reach the region.
“If you reach the region, you can reach the country; (if) you reach the country; then you can reach the Near East.”
“Buchra is a good illustration, and not just the only one,” Atema says. “She’s the bright one at the moment, but there are literally hundreds of kids like that who have come through our education program.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Kevin Zeller
CALL TO ACTION
- Pray that the staff serving needs of the Syrian refugees remains unified and focused.
- Pray for Gospel opportunities, and may the hearts of those who hear it be open and receptive to the wonderful truths contained in God’s Word.
- Ask God to continue to reveal Himself in this difficult situation.