New Wave of Refugees Pouring over Syria's Borders
Another Syrian government barrel bomb recently exploded on rebel positions in the city of Aleppo. The protracted violence is causing innocent civilians caught in the crossfire to leave the country in droves.
The crisis is perhaps the most severe since World War II and no end appears in sight.
According to the United Nations, more than 2.2 million Syrians are now registered refugees in neighboring countries. Most live in tent cities like Kawergosk camp in northern Iraq.
Fighting between Islamists and Kurdish militiamen forced a widow named Tadhi and her children to abandon their wheat farm.
The U.N. has given them food and blankets, but Tadhi said she lacks money to buy fresh fruit and vegetables for her children.
And it's not just in northern Iraq where refugees are pouring over the border each day. Many are still coming to Lebanon's Bekka Valley.
CBN News visited one camp just six months old. Many of the Syrians living there have yet to register with the United Nations, so they're turning to Christian groups and others for help.
Faiz arrived in the Bekka from northeast Syria just days before CBN News met him.
"The militias were bombing and we were without electricity and water," he recalled. "Our city was surrounded by the Free Syria Army and Jabat al Nusra. They are kidnapping Christians. It's a very bad situation."
Faiz's family now lives with his brother Kamal's family, who arrived six months ago. A total of 13 people are cramped into a small, two-room apartment.
But despite the less than ideal conditions, Faiz said he feels safer in Lebanon, free from the militants destroying Syria's ancient Christian community.
"They're trying to kick all the Christians out of the country," he explained. "A Christian friend of mine was working construction, building a government school. They killed him and stole his truck. They don't have any compassion or mercy for us Christians."
But groups like CBN partner Heart for Lebanon are showing much compassion for the refugees, like young Mohammed.
Mohammed's family set up a small tent on farm land in southern Lebanon. The tent leaked when it rained, so a Heart for Lebanon worker convinced the property owner to let the family live in a nearby shed.
Mohammed stopped attending school more than two years ago, shortly after the Syrian civil war began.
"He's a good boy and he wants to go to school," Heart for Lebanon worker Milad Nassar told CBN News. "Mohammed is 12 years old."
Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafza recently toured a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan. She and others worry Mohammed and his generation may lose any access to education.
In 2012, a Taliban terrorist shot Yousafza as she returned home from school. She is now a global advocate for girls' education.
But young refugees need more than education, food, and housing. Many, like 13-year-old Hamad, desperately need medical care. His journey to Lebanon was strenuous because he was born without fully developed legs.
Heart for Lebanon volunteer nurse Christine Broby explained that each of Hamad's legs have only one bone in them.
"You can see it doesn't attach correctly," she explained, displaying his X-ray. "The tibia would normally be on top of the talis and you have the whole fibula missing."
Not only did Heart for Lebanon provide Hamad with a comfortable mattress and food for his family, they also helped arrange leg surgery. Now with more help, Hamad may eventually walk.
Heart for Lebanon is also helping others with war injuries, like 18-year-old Faraj. When CBN News first met him last summer, Faraj needed his mother's help walking. Today he's walking on his own.
Faraj nearly died in Homs, Syria, when a rocket exploded in his living room, tossing him like a rag doll from a second story balcony. The fall broke his arm, and hot shrapnel tore into his chest and back.
He said he doing much better now, thanks to medical care and other help provided by the organization.
Asked if he would like to return to Syria to be a fighter, Faraj responded, "No, I wouldn't want to be a soldier!" He said he'd prefer to return to work in the clothing industry.
'Pray for me'
Faraj is asking Americans and others to pray for him.
"Pray that God will heal me and that I will walk normally," he said.
Many hope perhaps one day he'll walk all the way from Lebanon's Bekka Valley back to his Syrian home.