Meet Rafael*, a 21-year-old doing everything he can to share hope with the ‘war kids’ of Syria.
“Children should play, they should have fun, and they should participate in celebrating Christmas and Easter.” This conviction is what motivates Rafael* to remain in his country.
Last year Christmas was anything but peaceful in Rafael’s village. “On the day of Christmas 2015, rockets were fired at our village. This happened while the children were already waiting to enter the place of our Christmas celebration. What should we do as youth responsible for the event? We didn’t really have time to talk about this. We decided to open the doors and to celebrate Christmas, despite the rockets that fell on the village.
“We lost our home early in the war,” Rafael says. “We fled to a village and when we tried to return to our home one and a half years later the house was destroyed; all our stuff gone, stolen. The stuff I miss most are my piano and my photo camera.
“The biggest challenge for me as a Christian is trying to live a normal life every day. You never know what the day will bring, what terrible things might happen.
“But I can’t leave the country in a big mess, I want to leave a message to these ‘war kids’. We have to think of the future…
“We have to present Jesus Christ to the children, we won’t stop doing so. Nothing can stop us, we do it in the power of God.
“We take the children to camps, to safe areas. We sing a lot of praise songs in the evenings; such events make our souls, our faith stronger.” Rafael sees serving the children as his Christian duty. “Yes, we have our problems in Syria, but all over the world people have problems. There is no Christian with no problems in his life.”
*Name changed and identity hidden for security purposes.