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In Matthew 19:14 Jesus says, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” At Heart for Lebanon, Jesus is daily calling the children to Himself, waging war on despair and transforming hearts towards hope.

One young girl, twelve-year-old Amal (which, fittingly, means “hope”), experienced the work of Jesus drawing her to Him. She lives with her mother, father, and eight siblings. Two of Amal’s other sisters, 14 and 16 years old, work to support the family while Amal and two younger siblings attend the HOPE Educational Program. Amal really loves school, her teachers, and helping others. The school taught her about Jesus, but she says, “I really became a believer after I witnessed a miracle with my dad’s health.”

Amal’s father worked in a factory, cleaning and carrying heavy loads, but soon became too weak to work. The doctor told him he was critically ill, so he stopped working and began blood transfusions. Amal’s parents heard that they could pray to Jesus for healing, but Amal protested, saying her parents had raised her on Islam and the Qur’an, and they couldn’t turn back on that now. In response, her mother told her that “these people at the church are good people. All they teach are good virtues like kindness, love and compassion.”

By the time Amal heard for herself that Jesus can heal, her dad was in critical condition. She prayed a small but genuine prayer: “Jesus, if it is true what they are saying about you – that you are the true God, and that you are our Savior and healer – then heal my dad and bring him home. I will believe in you.”

Even then, Amal believed in Jesus. Since he was only getting worse, her father was sent home from the hospital to die in peace with his family. Yet, the family earnestly prayed for his recovery, and six months later, he is completely healed and in full health! Praise God!

Amal says, “If the war ends in Syria, I really want to return to Syria and tell everybody about Jesus.” Because of the influence of the HOPE Educational Program, she wants to be a teacher or to form a church, “where kids like me who don’t know about Jesus can learn about him.” In both big and small ways, Jesus calls the children unto Him, ending their despair and giving them Amal, or Hope.