Amidst the ashes and wreckage of war, God raises up new life. We thank Him for the birth of baby Tara*, daughter of Samir and Dina and the new little sister of Hadi*, who is 20 months old. Samir and Dina live in Aleppo, Syria. Both have good jobs and are active members of one of the traditional churches in the city. Samir works at the church, mostly with the children’s ministry. They are committed to stay in Aleppo and serve the Lord there despite the hardship and continued threat of danger. Thankful for your prayers, Samir shares a little glimpse of their life in Aleppo:
“Now, we are good,” Samir said, “but we were without electricity for 10 days, and recently, had five days without water. There have been a number of bombings and attacks, as well. Most people have generators now, so we also have electricity in my house, but the overall situation was not good for a couple of weeks. The road between Aleppo and Damascus and Homs was closed because of attacks, so we didn’t have enough food. Also, no fuel or gas has been coming into the city. Since the beginning of the conflict, the price of fuel has gone up. It is very high now. Even for bottled water, we pay a very high price.
“But now the road is open again, and most of the buildings have some water now. We do have water, but are still without electricity.
“Recently, we had a big bomb in the old part of Aleppo. On Sunday, April 27th, I was playing with my little son outside the house when a bomb exploded. We ran to the house when the explosion went off; thank God we were safe. This explosion was close to our home, but not so close that it damaged the house. It was a very big bomb.
“Ten days before Easter, a bomb exploded in our church building on the floor where the offices are. We had about 100 children doing activities in the basement of the church. I was upstairs, on the floor with the six offices giving a report to another person when the bomb exploded. I saw it explode, and God protected me. When I turned and looked behind me, I saw fire and everything broken. Pieces of the bomb were on the floor, but I was safe. I thank God that nobody was hurt; it was a miracle. Of course there was a lot of fear; we were all afraid. All the offices were damaged, the windows broken, but the people working in the church were safe. Imagine what would have happened if the children had been playing at another place in the church!
“After the explosion and the fire, the volunteers of the church cleaned everything up. Three days later, everyone was back in the church-the children and workers. I think we are all used to the war now. The people who wanted to leave the city have already left. The Christians who are still here stay because they believe they need to stay. We are used to war; to all the bombs that explode. After an attack or an explosion, the next day you can see all people going to their work, doing everything-children coming to our activities, going to school as usual.
“We don’t have people killed by bombs. None of the explosions in our area killed anyone, even when some were very big explosions that should have killed people. They caused big fires, destroyed buildings, but no one was hurt. I think what helps us to stay is seeing God’s hand protecting us.”
*All names have been changed for their protection.
Father, how we give You praise for precious little Tara who has brought joy and laughter into these dark and difficult times of war. We pray that You will protect her little life, and that the war will be over soon and she will grow up in peace. We pray that You will provide Dina with sufficient food and water; that she might be able to give nourishment to Tara. We pray your healing for Hadi and his parents as they sort through the traumatic events they have gone through. Thank You for the many Christians who remain in Aleppo to serve You there. Sustain them, Lord, and protect them. Give them opportunity to live and preach Your gospel to people living in spiritual darkness and great need. Raise up Your church out of the rubble of war; that a mighty army of peace might rise to praise Your name. In the name of Jesus, who pours out His mercy and grace in the midst of trouble, Amen.