September, 2015—Salma, her husband and his brother left their home in Iraq when it burned down 18 months ago. In search of a new life, they moved to Amman, Jordan with the few belongings they had left.
But life didn’t turn out as they had planned in Jordan, so, recently, they decided to keep moving. They paid to take a six-meter inflatable dinghy from Turkey to the coast of Greece. When they boarded, they saw 74 other people were also on the boat. While going forward didn’t seem like a good idea, they felt like they had no other choice.
“Like animals, we were put on the boat,” Salma said.
The trip, which typically takes less than two hours, took seven. Waves came over the boat and it began to sink. Salma and her husband threw everything they had overboard—their bags, passports, and money. They thought they were dying.
“God saved us,” she said. “We don’t know how, but God saved us.”
Salma has now made it to the Croatia/Slovenia borde, and she still says the boat was the most difficult part of her journey. They don’t yet know where they’re headed.
“We’re hoping to get to any country that we would be safe and that we would have a normal life,” she said. “[We want to] settle down and be secure and feel that we’re a human being with a life.”
Salma had tears in her eyes as she explained that she’s been begging for necessities the past few days and that it’s something she’s not used to doing. She said the new clothes would help her a lot as she continues toward her new life.
Even as we are doing this important work, Samaritan’s Purse is using gifts from generous Canadians like you to provide physical and spiritual help to thousands of Syrians and Iraqis who have fled for their lives to Kurdistan, a relatively safe area in northern Iraq. Your donations are enabling us to supply shelter materials, food, vocations supplies, household supplies and more to people who often have nothing when they arrive. Refugees continue to arrive in Kurdistan, so your help is still needed.
On Saturday, September 19, Samaritan’s Purse partnered with Hungarian Baptist Aid to distribute around 800 food parcels at the Croatia-Serbia border. One young man, Modar Wattar, received a parcel for himself and his 11-year-old brother. They had been traveling for a week by the time they reached the border.
Modar said that he had been saving money to leave Syria for a long time. When it was time to go, he decided that he also needed to take his younger brother and hope that his other brother and parents would soon be able to follow.
“They don’t want me to leave, but I told them we have to because we cannot live in Syria anymore,” he said.
Modar and his brother are headed toward the Netherlands, where he hopes they will both be able to continue school. Unlike many of the refugees, he doesn’t want to return home. He hopes to find a new home in a new country.
Please continue to pray for the safety of asylum seekers on the move through Europe. Pray that they will encounter God’s love in action as they meet Christians, including our staff and partners, along their route.
In the midst of political crisis around the world, Samaritan's Purse stands ready to meet the needs of citizens and our partners on the ground. Your gift allows us to supply basic necessities and offer emotional and spiritual support.