Syrian refugee mothers suffering in makeshift camps across Turkey have expressed a belief that God has “forgotten” them and only cares for Americans, a Christian missionary has revealed.
A Christian leader based in Turkey whose ministry provides aid in unofficial refugee camps shared with Christian Aid Mission that often, Syrian mothers bring their children to aid workers and ask missionaries to pray over them.
“They bring their children to us for prayer,” he said. “We ask, ‘What would you like us to pray for your child?’ They say, ‘May they grow up to live a better life, and be healthy.'”
“They are more concerned about their children and ask us for milk, baby food and blankets for their little ones,” the director added, explaining that while they have little hope for their own lives, the mothers hope their children will be able to live a better life someday.
The ministry director shared the story of one Syrian woman, whose husband had died fighting for Syrian government forces battling Islamist insurgents. She and her three children, a teen boy and twin 4-year-olds, had gone to Istanbul, Turkey where they begged in order to survive.
The Muslim woman’s 13-year-old son found work, but soon he began using drugs and abandoned the family. She then moved to a makeshift refugee camp in southern Turkey, hoping to create a better life for her small children. However, due to lack of provisions and medical care, the twins fell ill, forcing the woman to give one child up to another family.
“I stayed up all night thinking about which child I will give to this family,” she told the indigenous ministry director. “I gave them the weakest of the twins out of necessity, and then I wondered which child this decision helped the most.”
“ISIS has torn my family apart, messed up my job possibilities and ruined my health,” the Muslim woman continued. “I’ve lost my country, but you have watched over my family. Now I have only one child. I’ve lost my husband and two children.”
The woman said that God seemed to have forgotten Syrian refugees: “She said, ‘He doesn’t love us – He only loves Americans,‘” the ministry director said. “She was obviously expressing lots of anger over the unfairness. After patiently letting her express these emotions, we shared that, ‘God hasn’t forgotten you, because He is using those in Europe and America to give you food and is sending it to you through me.'”