Life has been tough for Leila* since her husband died in a car accident in 2002. She was left to provide for her 3 children alone, working as a tailor in north west Syria. Then the war came to her city. In November 2013, her home was attacked, set on fire, and her youngest daughter was killed. Struggling with enormous grief, she had to flee with her remaining children with nothing but the clothes they were wearing, first from one village to another within Syria and then to Lebanon.
This is where Leila heard about the food assistance given by a nearby church supported by LSESD’s relief arm MERATH. At first, she was reluctant to receive help from Christians. But the church’s warm welcome, material and spiritual assistance in this time of great distress overwhelmed her. She has learnt real forgiveness and now prays for the people who killed her daughter. Out of gratitude, her first grandson was named after the church’s pastor.
Leila is now responsible for the sewing program at the church, where she teaches 10 refugee women how to sew while trying to find ways of generating income. The women have been contracted by the church to sew 300 school uniforms for their non-formal education center for out-of-school children.
Life continues to be challenging for Leila but thanks to the local church and MERATH, she has peace, purpose and can provide for her family.