Aleppo citadel by night
Beginning in March 2011, the 7 years long civil war in Syria has caused much emotional and physical damage to its people – death, injuries, families separated. But thanks be to God, many Syrian churches are still shining for Christ in their nation, bringing light to their communities, and they need our prayers in order to continue their good work.
Our co-workers listed the following prayers to help you to pray for our brothers and sisters in Syria. They need us to stand with them to bring hope to Syria.
1. Thank God for our new center of hope in Safita, western Syria. Its activities help traumatized women, and the families of people who were killed during the war, by giving psychological support and, of course, spiritual input. It offers training to help people learn a profession and earn a living, and the centers have activities for children who are not able to attend school. Please pray that people will be healed through the activities they attend. Pray that this center might, indeed, spread hope in the hearts of many people.
2. All over Syria we offer training to Christians who are active in their churches. One of the training participants Sharbil said: “You are giving light to the youth, you’re helping us with your training to live in this society. It’s not only the training you give, but also the example your trainers are giving. Your training helps the church to develop.” Please pray for the trainings.
3. Recently, together with the deaf ministry of the Protestant church in Damascus, we helped support a conference for deaf Christians from Syria. The central theme was ‘The Father’s Heart’. Please remember the participants and the deaf ministry in Syria.
4. Please pray for the summer camps organized by churches in Syria. These camps normally have a great effect on children’s lives.
5. Pray for a solution to the conflict in Syria. During more than seven years of war there have been too many casualties. Pray that fighting and killing will stop. Pray that the parties involved in the war will stop their fighting and will start working towards peace and reconciliation.
6. Many young Syrian men have left the country because they didn’t want to fulfill their military service. Now they are facing a problem because of the Syrian law. The law states that, in order to be pardoned for avoiding military service, the men must prove that they have been officially resident in another country for four years; they must also pay the government 8,000 US dollars. This puts off many men from returning to the country. Pray for a solution for this.
7. Our Syrian team has gone through big changes in the past few months. Please pray for the team members. Thank God for their dedication, and their willingness to live and work in Syria. Throughout the years God has protected them as they lived through the difficult circumstances of war and shortages. Pray that God will give them the strength to continue the wonderful work they are doing.
8. “Food support is still necessary,” said pastor Musa* in May 2018 to one of our workers. “In many families, the breadwinner was killed, but families’ economic situations also worsened because of job losses, and salaries not keeping pace with inflation. Also, the job market is poor at the moment, and, in Syria, married women with children don’t usually have a paid job.” People had their own houses but now, in displacement, they have to pay rent. Even when the war is over, the need for help is still big, and this will not change overnight. Pray for those people in need, that they will receive the necessary support to continue their life in Syria.
9. Over 12,000 families get social aid thanks to your support through the local churches in Syria. Thank God for all the people who continue to make this possible with their donations. We’re also thankful for the many volunteers involved in putting together food packages and distributing them. Please pray for initiatives to help people earn a living with the help of micro-loans and new enterprises.
10. Thank God that during the years of war, God opened the eyes of many Muslims. They found peace in their hearts in the midst of the crises when they converted to become followers of Jesus Christ. Thank the Lord for the churches involved in discipling these new believers.
11. “The social aid that we have given to Syrian Christians since 2012 – along with food and medicine – has helped them stay in the country, and survive during the crisis,” says one of our Syrian workers. “The aid helps people feel that the church cares about them. The indirect effect is that people see that the churches are doing Jesus’ work, feeding the poor. That is also strengthening churches within Christian and Muslim communities.” Thank God that this way of helping the needy has had this effect.
12. Because churches also tried to help their Muslim neighbors in Syria, their good witness is recognized, even by the authorities. Praise God!
13. “The war destroyed everything. It destroyed the souls, and childhoods. It destroyed a lot of buildings, including our scout hut. But the war could not destroy our hope in Jesus Christ,” Bassel, a scout in Homs recently said. In Syria, a lot of the youth work of the churches is organized by scout groups. “Without our hope in Christ we will not be able to live peacefully in this land. We are the sons of light, we should let that light shine till the ends of the earth.” Bassel is thankful that the scouts in Homs could, after the war, start their activities again. Pray that God will bless the work of the scout groups all over Syria.
*Name changed for security reasons
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