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Leaving Everything Behind: Amos

Iraqi refugee child

The Voice of the Martyrs helps Iraqi Christians who have been driven from their homes by radical Muslim fighters. Eleven-year-old Amos and his family escaped ISIS fighters by flying to Jordan and settling there.

Amos’ mom tells what life was like when ISIS came to their city. “We got in the car and tried to leave, but there were so many cars and people in the street that we got stuck there,” she said. “ISIS was in the street in front of us waving their victory flag. God protected us, and we found a way out. Three times that day God kept us safe.”

Now there are 12 people living in a house in Jordan with the family. Two are children: Amos and his 15-year-old disabled brother Mark.

Amos told what happened when they first left their home in Iraq. “I was very worried and cried a lot. There was no food and no clothes. We left our home with nothing, only the clothes we were wearing. A pastor gave us a shelter made from something not very strong and some food and plates and utensils. They gave us cheese and bread for breakfast.

“Then we came to Jordan. My life is good here. I go to church every Sunday. I am very happy at the [Christian] school. I feel safe, and my mother and father can walk safely in the street because there is no ISIS.

“I like sports and listening to stories — especially stories from the Bible. I like to sew. I help my mother sew when she is tired from taking care of my brother. My mother takes sewing classes at the church. She can earn money from the sewing.”

(To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity.)

Click here to watch a video about Iraqi refugee children at a Christian school.
Watch refugee schoolchildren praying here.

Leaving Everything Behind: Too Much TV

Iraqi refugee child

Nine-year-old David, his brother, and six other relatives live together in a house in Jordan. They lack money, medicine, and daily provisions. “Their situation is very hard,” said a Christian worker in the area.

But when David’s mother talked about David and his brother, she said, “They used to be very sad and afraid. Now they are happy. Here there is peace. We are happy and the children are happy.”

The family is happy, even when they have nothing, because they escaped Muslim ISIS fighters in Iraq. They are grateful that God protected them and kept them safe.

ISIS had damaged David’s school in Iraq. He had nothing to do except watch TV. Now David goes to a Christian school that The Voice of the Martyrs helps to support. “I like to come to school and learn and play,” he said. “I hate watching TV because in Iraq and when we first came to Jordan, that was all I could do. Now I like to play with toys and a train.”

The Apostle Paul said he suffered from imprisonments, beatings, shipwreck, stoning, bandits, tiredness, hunger, thirst, cold, and dangers. (See 2 Corinthians 11.) Christians in many places around the world suffer from the same problems today. Another problem some persecuted Christians face is having almost nothing to do for a long time.

Read stories about bored Christian kids here , here , and here.

Leaving Everything Behind: Sam

Iraqi child

Sam, a kindergarten student, talked to Christian visitors in Jordan about his life. He and his family used to live in Iraq. They escaped to Jordan after Muslim ISIS fighters made life in their home too difficult to bear.

“In Iraq I used to play outside and my mom watched me play in the garden,” Sam said. “I went to kindergarten. I had a neighbor with many kids that I played with.

“Then when I heard about ISIS, I was afraid. I dreamed about them coming into the house and shouting and damaging everything.

“In Jordan I feel better now. I like cutting paper, drawing, crafts, and cutting pictures out of books. But when my friend gave me a toy gun I destroyed it because I didn’t want to see it.”

(To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity.)

Many Christians are facing persecution at the hands of Islamic extremists. The Voice of the Martyrs helps Christian refugees from Iraq and other countries. Some have been displaced inside Iraq, while others have fled to surrounding nations. In northern Nigeria, Christians have been attacked by the Islamic group Boko Haram. VOM provides medical care, temporary shelter, food, clothing, blankets, clean drinking water, and other needs. Learn how to help here.

Leaving Everything Behind: Mary

Iraqi refugee child

“My life in Iraq was beautiful,” said 8-year-old Mary. “I went to school and had friends and could play anytime. I lived in Mosul with my mom and dad and sister.”

Mary’s family is Christian. Things changed for them when ISIS, a radical Muslim group, began attacking their city. “Mosul was full of ISIS,” Mary said. “The war started and they damaged all of Iraq.

“I felt sad and worried and afraid for my dad. I was shouting all the time for my dad not to leave the house for work. He worked doing something with electricity.

“We were there with ISIS a very long time. No more school. No more playing with friends. Sometimes I wet my bed at night because I was so afraid.”

Mary’s family escaped to Jordan where they were safer. “My life is nice now,” Mary said in Jordan. Here we are strong. We are not afraid, and I sleep well.

“I spend all my time here at school with friends. My sister also comes to the school. I like school the best. I can do all my homework at home. I like to sing and dance all the time in my home.”

The Voice of the Martyrs helps Christian families like Mary’s in Jordan. Watch a video clip about Iraqi refugees here and here .

Leaving Everything Behind: Anthony

Iraqi refugee child

Many Christians have been driven from their homes and cities in Iraq by fighters who belong to ISIS, a group of radical Muslims. Christian families have to leave behind most of their belongings and everything that is familiar to them.

Workers from The Voice of the Martyrs visit Christians who have moved to Jordan to escape the fighting. VOM helps the children go to a Christian school.

Five-year-old Anthony told a Christian adult what his life was like in Iraq and Jordan.

“In Iraq, I lived with my parents and brothers and sisters,” Anthony began. “I remember the toys, the football [soccer], and my swing. I didn’t go to school there. I was only 3.

“The enemy came to Iraq — they came to our door one time. They wanted to kill my dad because they knew he was a Christian. After that my family went to another house. We stayed inside for nine days in one room. My sister kept me covered with a blanket and gave me food. My mother told her to make sure I wasn’t scared.

“Then my dad decided we would come to Jordan. We all left together and came by plane. I brought toys.

“I feel very good here in Jordan. I like school and I never want to be absent. I like reading stories.

“I have Iraqi kids as friends — no Jordanian friends. My family doesn’t trust the Muslims in Iraq or Jordan.”

(To protect their identities, the names of some of the people on this website and some identifying details have been changed. Some of the quotes and stories have been edited and paraphrased from the original sources for clarity.)

To Talk About
In your opinion, what is the hardest thing Anthony has had to deal with? Can you pray today for children who are going through the same struggles that Anthony told about?