Six months after the Viatorian Community gathered with Sisters of the Living Word to pray for a Syrian refugee family to be reunited, their prayers have been answered.
“Recently, we learned that Marwan’s wife and daughter have been granted visas and will be joining Marwan and the three boys in the very near future,” Br. Michael Gosch, CSV, told Viatorian Community members.
“Many of you have offered assistance, prayers and support for this family,” he added, “for which they are very grateful.”
Marwan Saffaf and his wife and four children fled Syria amidst the war, more than three years ago. They landed first in the United Arab Emirates, where Saffaf was able to obtain a visa to enter this country and his three sons followed last year. His wife, Lama, and 15-year old daughter, Maria, remained behind awaiting their visas.
Viatorians first met Saffaf three years ago, after he was released from six months in detention. When his sons arrived last August, Viatorians worked with Sisters of the Living Word and Faith Community Homes in helping the family find an apartment and settle into local schools.
A joint prayer service took place in September, when they held an interfaith prayer service for all the people of Syria, including the more than 250,000 who have died in its civil war — and the nearly 6 million who have fled as refugees.
Saffaf and his family sat in the front row, and meeting the former bank manager and his three young sons put a face to humanitarian crisis.
“Thank you to everyone who helped us and prayed for us,” Saffaf said that night.
After President Donald Trump’s recent executive order, banning entry from some Muslim countries, the family feared they would never reunite.
“Getting to know Marwan and his children has been a spirit-led venture,” said Sr. Carrie Miller, SLW, at the prayer service. “God placed them right here before us and asked us to do what we could.”