Glimmers of Hope in the Midst of War
The civil war in Syria rages on unchecked. Millions of Syrians have fled their homes as the fighting claims city after city. And yet, in the midst of all the violence, Open Doors provides glimmers of hope as it supports the Syrian people through local churches. Through your help, one of these churches was able to bring Christmas joy to the children of a small village near Homs. Below you can read their thank you letter.
Respected members of Open Doors, Greetings of peace and love from the land of peace…Syria
I would like to begin with the words of the Lord Jesus: “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ “ (Matthew 25: 40)
The happiness of the birth of Lord Jesus can sometimes be a huge celebration in the churches; children many times get presents and play games. But in war, in a place of fire and guns and conflicts between different communities and sects, where happiness has lost its way, things are different. But not far from Homs there is a small Christian village with villagers who refuse to leave the place and the land.
In this village, there is faith in the Lord Jesus and His ability to end this war and restore peace to its children and to all of us in Syria. Children of this village experienced a new taste of joy during Christmas last year when they received gifts that were sent to them by believers in Jesus. They brought a joy and happiness that had been nearly forgotten by children since the war began in Syria. In these times, nobody here is thinking of making games or toys for children; all have turned to manufacture and sell weapons.
This introduction is not a fictional story but an introduction of real thankfulness for your contributions to this village. All we were able to do as a church was terrific and great. When you hear that there are children who wept with joy just seeing the games and gifts that were given to them, and who felt again the joy and the new hope of Christmas, then you know that what we did for this village was more magnificent than we expected.
We thank the Lord Jesus who illuminates our path to show us the truth and enlighten our minds on the right way. Today there are in this Maronite village games for all children as well as school supplies for about one hundred children. In addition, the most important gift will stay with them for the coming years. This was a real surprise for them; they have now a huge library with Christian books and the latest children’s material to reach children of all ages with the message of Christ.
Part of the library contains important Christian books for adults and educators. It contains the latest development programs of Christian, social and economic topics for them and for their families and for all ages. This library is without comparison. We hope there will be peace in Syria soon and we can go to others to meet them and give them training.
Thanks to the Lord Jesus for everything and thank you for your help to bring joy and peace to this country and his children.
Continue to pray for us.
The Lord bless you all
In 2012 Open Doors began distributing relief packages through partnering churches in the country. The relief work has now grown into a wide scale effort supporting more than 8,000 families monthly.
Additionally, Open Doors provides leadership and trauma training for believers. The Save Syria campaign initiated in 2013 focused strongly on advocacy on behalf of the Syrian Church. More than 300,000 people worldwide signed a petition to plea on behalf of the Christian minority in Syria. Last December in New York, the petition was handed over to delegations from the US, UK, China, France and Russia, the permanent members of the UN, as well as to delegations of the Syrian government and the Syrian opposition and to governments and embassies in several countries.
Father, Your church in Syria has suffered so much along with others in Syria. In the midst of their suffering, they find ways of reaching out in mercy to their neighbors in Your name. Thank You for the work of Open Doors in helping these churches to bring a sliver of hope in the midst of trauma. We offered our gifts-toys and games, books and training-and pray that You will multiply our offering in their lives to encourage, instruct, train, and bring joy among the people. And we pray that as the name of Christ goes with these material goods, many would turn to You in faith and that a great outpouring of Your Spirit would fall upon this land and bring true worship and peace. In the name of Jesus, in whose name we are bearers of the good news of the gospel. Amen