Rod, Mya, Hattie and Grace are a family from Syria. They have been living in Greece for a year and seven months. This is their story:
Rod worked as a truck driver in Dubai. He would travel through Jordan to reach Dubai. Once the war in Syria got really bad and people started fleeing; countries around Syria started closing their borders; Jordan was one of those countries. Rod had been working in Dubai when the borders closed, he eventually smuggled his way back in to Syria to be reunited with his family, but was then unable to leave for work again.
Rod decided it was best for his family to leave. Mya was pregnant at the time and Hattie was 1.5 years old. They walked to Turkey where they stayed for two months before boarding a raft to Greece. Once in Greece they stayed in a refugee camp on the island of Lesbos for four months. During this time Mya went into labor with twins, but due to lack of medical care and doctors in the camp she lost both babies in child birth.
They have since been processed out of the camp and are staying on the mainland in a government house. Rod is working hard to get an employment card so he can work and they can remain in their house, otherwise they will lose the housing in 6 months. The have a beautiful three-year-old named Hattie and a sweet three-month-old named Grace.
We had the honor to be welcomed into their home after meeting them in a park one evening. I knew when I looked across the park and felt lead to them. In my husband’s words, “you have your eye on the target.” And I did, I felt such a strong prompting to meet them.
After spending the afternoon in their home getting to know them we learned Rod was taking English classes to better his chances of getting a job, but he was unable to read. Rod and Mya spoiled us with iced coffee, nuts, coke, and sweet cake. We were so thankful for the time together. They expressed how in Syria they would sit outside in the evenings with their neighbors and they missed it so much. I’m so glad we had the opportunity to give them a tiny taste of home.
We took them to dinner the next evening, which we later found out had been their first meal in a couple of days. It was after this meal that I knew More than Numbers had to happen so that sweet families didn’t have to struggle to provide food for their growing children. Their children who have been through so much trauma. I keep a picture of Rod, Mya, Hattie, and Grace at my desk as a reminder of why I do the work I do.