Meet my friends James and Amy and their two precious daughters (18 months and 6 months). Their story is one of the most harrowing stories from a Refugee that I have heard, to date, but I recognize that they are one family of many who have endured incredible hardship to find safety and new life for their family.
James was a photographer in Afghanistan before being involuntarily and violently recruited by the Taliban. James knew he wanted to part of the famous group and quickly took his wife Amy and oldest daughter and fled. This begins their journey to Greece.
Like thousands of Refugees before them, James and Amy arrived in Turkey where they stayed for a while before Turkish officials forced them to leave. It was in Turkey where they were in a car serious car accident. The car flipped with James, Amy (who was pregnant at the time), and their daughter inside. Miraculously they were all fine, including their unborn child.
They then fled to Bulgaria where they were put into prison because of their refugee status. Their second daughter was born in the over crowded Bulgarian prison. About six months after the birth of their second daughter they started the treacherous journey to Greece.
This family of four walked on foot from Bulgaria to Greece. A journey that took them 600 miles, a journey that would take 7.5 days if you walked continuously for a 24 hour period. They walked over mountains and through forests alone. It was during this part of their journey where they encountered their greatest challenge yet. While camping one night in the Greek woods a bear threatened to harm them. Miraculously they were spared yet again, but their supplies began to run low. They found a stream which they drank from, unfortunately the water made their youngest daughter very sick.
When we met James and Amy they had only been in Greece a few weeks. Their youngest had recently been released from a hospital. We listened to their story and shared our own. James and Amy want nothing more than for their daughters to be safe and live a good life. They have gone to great extremes to make that happen and continue to strive for their dreams.