During a recent visit to Lebanon, I had the privilege of sharing a meal with a group of teenage refugee girls at a 3-day camp for children. After having spent the morning playing together, the atmosphere was relaxed and I sensed a general feeling of camaraderie between us.

While I was still contemplating and reasoning in my mind whether to ask the question or not, the words had already jumped out of my mouth. I was still trying to explain myself and to be diplomatic and ‘sensitive’ about asking such a question, when the translator already started speaking to the girls.

What happened next will forever be etched into my heart! I will never forget how their faces lit up as they started answering the question. While I may not have been able to understand what they were saying (in Arabic or French), I had no problem in sensing just how excited they were to answer…

“What do you want to become one day?” I asked them. And as I said those words, the reality of their refugee status, their dire circumstances and seemingly hopeless future (to a westerner like me, might I add), screamed so loudly at me, that I resented myself at that moment for having asked the question.

“A teacher.” “A nurse.” “A hairdresser.” “An archaeologist.” At that moment I started repenting for the arrogance and ignorance in my heart, “Forgive me Father, that I did not have any hope or expectation in my heart for their future!”

In the midst of perilous circumstances, danger, trauma and uncertainty, these children continue to dream about their tomorrow. And when you can dream, all hope is not lost. For with hope, all things are possible!

As I lay in bed that evening, I made a commitment to the Lord, “If there is one thing I will continue to pray for this generation, it would be that the Holy Spirit will continue to infuse their ability to dream; that He might protect their innocent child-like faith that all things are possible and that they will be fully persuaded that indeed, in Christ, they have a hope and a future – always!”

“Oh, and awaken the child and dreamer inside of me too, Father,” I muttered as I fell asleep…

Cherise Helena

We are thankful for Cherise and other friends who join hands with our Children and Youth Ministry (BCYM) in working with vulnerable children in Lebanon. To learn more, email us at information@Lsesd.org 

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