The incredibly high number of Syrian refugee children in Lebanon, including those that can be reached through partner churches, has led the Baptist Children’s and Youth Ministry (BCYM), a ministry of CBM’s partner the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD) to hold camps every year for Syrian (& Iraqi) refugees. The number of these camps have grown, and because of the large number of children, a three-day day camp will welcome a brand new group of children each day. More children are reached, giving them a glimpse of the childhood they lost when they left Syria. Needless to say, all look forward to these camps. 10-year-old Farid (not his real name) recalls his loss of leaving his home country in the midst of war – “I lost my house where I spent time with my friends playing and biking. It is burned and destructed now. I lost my toys and my bicycle.” His words carry the sense of loss that is so central to the refugee experience, the loss of identity, community, dignity.
These camps are provided for spiritual and recreational encouragement, responding to real life issues that they wrestle with. Teams from abroad will come to help co-lead these camps, and local youth leaders help each year to build relationships with these children. For the children to know someone cares for them and that the leaders are all there to help them enjoy their time and to learn more about God, means the world.