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Ismail’s Escape from Syria

As Ismail walked home from school, bombs exploded around him and thugs stormed through the streets of Homs, Syria. A local shopkeeper gave him shelter until his father arranged for his escape. Follow this family’s journey from a life of danger ... Read Transcript


NARRATOR: As Ishmael was on his way home from school one day,

bombs began falling around him as men with rifles

stormed through the streets of Homs, Syria.

ISHMAEL'S MOTHER THROUGH INTERPRETER:

My son was saved by shopkeeper who took him

in until the fighting moved on.

It was a horrible time.

And I was in constant fear for my childrens' lives.

I knew we had to get out of Syria.

NARRATOR: Ishmael's father arranged for a driver

to take Ishmael, his mother, and his two siblings into Lebanon.

Before he could join them, he was shot in the back

and killed.

[GUN SHOT]

ISHMAEL'S MOTHER THROUGH INTERPRETER:

We had a good life, then the Civil War happened

and everything was taken from us.

Now I have to raise my children alone and try to start over.

NARRATOR: Ishmael's family now lives

in a massive camp in the Bekaa Valley

with thousands of other refugees.

His mother told me she works long hours in a nearby field

making less than $4 a day.

Many days as she worked, she thought

about how Ishmael was being mistreated

at the local public school.

ISHMAEL'S MOTHER THROUGH INTERPRETER:

The teachers hit the children.

After everything Ishmael had been through,

the teachers made it so hard for him

that he didn't want to go to the school ever again.

NARRATOR: Then Heart for Lebanon,

which is supported by CBN's Orphan's Promise, invited

Ishmael to our Hope Center, a school

dedicated to providing a safe and loving environment

for refugee children.

ISHMAEL THROUGH INTERPRETER: At my old school

the teacher would hit me if I couldn't answer a question

right.

And all the kids bullied each other.

But it's so nice here.

I have wonderful friends and the teachers are really kind.

NARRATOR: At this openly Christian school

along with learning math, English, and music,

students are also shown "Superbook" in Arabic.

ISHMAEL THROUGH INTERPRETER: Jesus

teaches us not to lie and to be good to others.

I've learned to be like him and to pray

to God when I'm in trouble.

NARRATOR: All the children at the school

come from Muslim families, but their parents

are happy to see what they're learning

in this Christian environment.

ISHMAEL'S MOTHER THROUGH INTERPRETER:

I don't have a problem with my children learning about Jesus

and all his teachings, because now there is something

different about my children.

I can see a change coming from the inside out.

They are getting happier every day.

NARRATOR: Orphan's Promise and Heart for Lebanon

also provide large portions of food each month

to Ishmael's family and the other refugees in their camp.

ISHMAEL'S MOTHER THROUGH INTERPRETER:

I'm so happy to know that there are Christians abroad

who are reaching out to Muslims who are suffering and in need.

I pray for these people and for God's blessing on them.

It means a lot for us to know that they think of us

and feel for us.

ISHMAEL THROUGH INTERPRETER: Thank you for the food

and for allowing me to go to this school.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

[WHOOSH]

[CHIMES]

[CHILDREN LAUGHING]

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