Local organization helping those impacted by Syrian chemical attack

Local organization's impact on Syrian refugees in GR

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - As missiles fly and horrifying images continue to come in from Syria, an organization is providing support for those locally impacted by the horror. 

Dozens of Syrian refugees have resettled here in the Grand Rapids area with the help of Bethany Christian Services. Those with Bethany say many of those refugees are having a difficult time with what's going in a place they once called home. 

Related: U.S. launches cruise missile strike on Syria after chemical weapons attack

"They are devastated by what is happening in their country they are very scared for their family," Kristine Van Noord, Manager of the Refugee Adult and Family Programs, said.

Noord works with Bethany Christian Services, she's been talking with those impacted by the latest attacks.

"We offer counseling services, we have an Arabic speaking counselor who is able to work individually and in small groups, counseling the families on what they are going through," Noord said. "Many of them are reliving their experiences as they hear about these horrors in Syria."

Horrors, Zane Shami cannot fathom.

"It was very hard to believe, I've never seen anything like that not even in movies," he told WZZM 13 over the phone on Thursday. 

We first introduced you to the Shami back in February when he reunited with his mother, a woman who escaped Syria.

"We feel so sad, that we are hopeless and we don't know what we can do to help them out," Shami said. "But at the same time, we are grateful that I'm here and my mother is here." 

Not all may be so lucky, as the war in Syria escalates many refugees here are concerned their family may never make it through.

"Their family may not have the opportunity to come to the United States because the United States is looking to decrease the number of refugees that are welcome," Noord said. "So they are very concerned they are will not be able to reunite with their families."

In the last two years Bethany Christian Services has helped more than 100 Syrian refugees resettle and they say overall there are a little over 200 through out the West Michigan area. 

We did reach out to see if there are any Syrians willing to speak, Noord tells us often times refugees worry about talking on camera because if its shared on social media and is seen by the wrong people,  there could be consequences for their relatives still in Syria, fearing for their lives. 

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