“The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.” Isaiah 9:2
Fleeing in total darkness is a reality for many displaced people. God longs to meet those who have suffered and restore their hope for the future, not leave them in the darkness. People like Farah*, a mother of 12 children and has 14 grandchildren. She lives in a graveyard. It’s the safest place.
Two years ago, fighting erupted near her village in south west Yemen. Some of Farah’s neighbours were killed or injured. “We did not hesitate to leave our homes that same night,” she recounts. “In those moments, we did not think about anything but our safety. I can’t see very well and I can’t walk for long distances, but the fighting forced us to leave.”
“As we left our house, the sounds of airstrikes, shelling and buzzing surrounded us from all directions. The bullets were chasing us and the warplanes were throwing missiles as we fled.” Farah wasn’t able to take any of her things with her, she just hoped to find somewhere safe: “We spent the whole night walking on foot, in the morning we found ourselves in an area we had not known before, so we decided to stay here until someone could come to help us.”
They found themselves in a place where no one stopped them from setting up shelter – a graveyard. But with no possessions or materials to build that shelter, it was a challenge to start again in the bleak outdoors.
“It was the worst day in my life when I left my house,” recounts Farah. “I have not seen anything good since that ominous night. I hope to return to my house as soon as possible.”
Father God, bring comfort to Farah and women like her who have been through such trauma and upheaval. Pray for their protection, provision and healing. As the Yemen conflict enters its fifth year, pray for a peaceful resolution, which will be crucial in averting famine and easing the suffering of the Yemeni people. Thank you God for the courage and commitment of Tearfund partners bringing relief and hope to people like Farah.
In solidarity with those who fled on foot into the unknown today we will walk. It could be for one errand, or for one trip, but intentionally choose to walk for something that you would typically drive (or use public transportation) to accomplish.
* Name changed to protect identity