Today’s post is written by a CAMA worker in the Middle East.

“Does anyone else want to share something before class ends?” I asked one last time, knowing we were running late and the next teacher was waiting outside the door.

During our final group counseling session of the semester at our church’s school for Syrian refugee children, I wanted to give the students an opportunity to share things that they had enjoyed in our group or ways that they had found it helpful.

Some said they liked remembering and drawing what they had lost. Some liked making memory boxes. Some said learning about stages of grief was useful and they liked the little papers I handed out along with that lesson. Some liked talking about changes they had experienced as a result of moving to our country. Some liked making flags of hope.

I appreciated hearing that there were things the students enjoyed and found helpful. I was glad that they were paying attention and participating and actually remembered some of our lessons.

One flag reads, “I hope we will return to Syria and be happy again.”

The last person to share was a seven-year-old girl sitting the in the front row. She was usually quiet. She raised her hand once, then put it down. When I called on her, she shook her head no.

Then I asked the question one last time: “Anyone else want to share something before class ends?”

The girl raised her hand and said something with a soft, tiny voice. Being the last seconds of the class period, some kids were getting antsy and loud. Class was really over, I just wanted to make sure everyone who wanted to talk had a chance. I told her she could just tell me and the two girls sitting next to her. She gave a nervous smile. That sounded less intimidating than talking in front of the whole class. She said, “I want to tell you that I lost my sister. She was a baby.”

As the words came out of her mouth, her eyes teared up. That brief little statement held such weight. After spending weeks on the topic of loss and never mentioning it, she was ready to share that precious information.

In the last five seconds of the last class of the school year.

Continue to pray for refugees in the Middle East and for the children who have experienced deep loss.