TWR Canada has been translating and producing biblical stories for children. Mrs. G’s well-loved children’s stories (from Bible Stories Alive) expand our ministry to reach children and we are very excited about this. This is something we have wanted to do for a while and this is a great opportunity to provide Gospel content for children in Mandarin, Arabic, and Farsi.
I wanted to share the story of the woman lending her voice to the experimental pilot for the Arabic stories. This is such a neat story and very relevant to Canadians right now. With the refugee migrant crisis in Europe, this is a story that is both heartbreaking and shows the powerful hand of God’s protection and provision at the same time.
Muna (name changed) and her family are refugees from Syria and now permanent residents in Canada. Muna welcomes this opportunity to use her language skills to nurture the hearts of young children back home.
A lot of love and faith goes into these children’s programs behind-the-scenes.
Muna sat in the TWR Canada London office and shared her story with the staff. This was the first time meeting her for many of us. She smiles lots, and stares at her hands as she talks. Muna shares about the good days — about living in Damascus before the war, about walking to school as a child, going to church, the freedom they enjoyed as Christians.
And then the war happened on the street literally in front of her house.
She talked about sending her daughter to school and then learning another school in her city was blown up that day. She talked about fear and discrimination and bombings and drones — and all the horror and terror and injustice that goes along with a civil war.
Her husband began to face persecution at work and then could not work. They lost electricity for days at a time. There were parts of town it was no longer safe to visit.
And then it got worse.
She talked about hiding in her bathroom with her kids for hours at a time because of the fighting on the street outside their home. Trying to keep as many walls as possible between her kids and any stray bullets flying around.
Can you picture this young mother hiding her two children in the bathtub? Telling stories and jokes and tickling and smiling. Pretending for their sake that everything is OK. Not letting them see how worried she was. Pasting on a smile and laughing for them despite the war raging on the sidewalk out front.
Can you picture this?
After Muna shares her story, she says she’s been in Canada for about a year but her daughter (7 years old) complains that she doesn’t like it here. She wants to go home – to Damascus. This mamma can’t believe what she’s hearing from her girl. How could you want to go back?
All the daughter remembers of her life in Damascus is the love of her family. Her grandparents, aunts and uncles. She doesn’t get to see them; she doesn’t get to wrap herself in their hugs and kisses and tickles like she used to. Skype and other communications are OK, but even a child understands it’s not the same. And with the constant power outages in Damascus there are days they don’t get to communicate at all.
As adults, we know that Muna and her husband made a very tough decision in order to offer their children a better life. But, her children saw life differently.
And this is why we wanted Muna’s voice for these children’s stories…
Because what Muna had done was completely shelter her children from the realities around them. Tragic, horrific, nightmarish realities. Instead of remembering that people wanted them dead, that schools were blown up, that they weren’t safe – that they hid in a bathtub to avoid a civil war, all the little girl remembers is the time and love her mother lavished on her.
We couldn’t think of anyone more suited to share the love of Christ through stories for young children in the Middle East. With a mother’s heart, Muna is able to transport children with her voice into the Bible despite all that might be going on around them.
Join us in praying for these programs as they are produced. Pray with us for Muna and her family as they settle in Canada and grow in their own faith in Christ.