In 1915 my grandfather was just six years old. For two years he hovered around his home town, in what is now Turkey. He survived by eating fruits and nuts in the orchards. He had no shoes during those years. Finally, he and his little brother escaped. Deep in western Armenia, they marched up and down the Euphrates looking for safety.
He spent a year behind enemy lines but turned down the chance to flee with some missionaries because he was determined to go back and find his brother. The two of them eventually made it to Egypt, again helped by missionaries, and stayed in an orphanage there until they turned 18.
I still feel a powerful debt of gratitude to my grandfather and his will to survive.
He went on to move to America, put himself through school and raise a family of his own while helping his brother, who also had three sons. All of them now have extended families of their own. I should also say “thank you” to the missionaries who rescued him.