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Reason #3: The bravery of the Syrian church

By Stella Chetham | 16 Mar 2016

Tuesday 15 March marks five years since the start of Syria’s brutal war. Let’s join together this week to counter despair and bring back some much-needed hope for Syria.

‘He showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege.’ (Psalm 31:21)

‘In Aleppo, our church was hit twice by rockets and demolished. The pastor is a brave man, he’s now rebuilding the church,’ says Raya, who manages aid distributions through a network of Syrian churches.

In some of the most dangerous areas, churches have become centres for aid where conventional agencies are unable to get through. It was a job most of them never expected to do, but they’re now setting an example for others.

‘Many of the people receiving help say how much the relationship means to them and that they feel they are valued human beings, not merely numbers or anonymous aid recipients,’ says Heather, who manages Tearfund partner projects in Syria. ‘This personal touch is one of the benefits of working through churches.’

‘People see the churches as a refuge,’ says Raya. ‘Churches are filled in times of disaster, because people are clinging to God. They need both physical and spiritual support. There is rarely a church not doing this kind of work.

‘We are all actively waiting, doing the work, and praying. We are lucky that we have faith that keeps us going. Our hope is in Jesus. I don’t know how I keep going. We feel that God accompanies us, and even you who are giving.’

(Names changed to protect identities)

Action

Pray for protection for our church partners in Syria. Raya also asks: ‘Pray that the flow of militants and arms into Syria would stop. Pray for the governments in the West to make good decisions. We need divine intervention to stop this, as even the big nations don’t know what to do.’

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Written by Stella Chetham

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