This update is from Pastor Samuel working in the besieged city of Aleppo, Syria. He is serving the churches there to help refugees, the victims of a brutal civil war.
This past week, Christians all over the world celebrated Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ. In Aleppo, Syria, before the war, families, especially children, were excited to decorate their homes with Christmas trees, lights and other items. On Christmas Eve, at midnight, churches had their Christmas worship services.
This year, like the last three years, people in Aleppo were in a desperate situation. During the day on Dec. 24 several rockets probably sent by the rebels hit the Christian residential areas, causing casualties, fear and damage. People were afraid to go out of their homes. Churches cancelled the midnight worship services. And to make things worse, electricity and water were cut to the city. So people were suffering from the lack of the basic needs.
On Christmas Day, despite a lot of challenges, churches opened their doors for the worshippers to have Christmas services. Although the churches, from inside, were decorated with Christmas trees and lights, you couldn’t see a lot of joy and happiness on people’s faces. Although parents and children were coming to churches, they didn’t seem happy at all.
Some children, when asked what they would like to ask to Jesus, their answers were one word: “Peace.” Asked “What kind of peace?” They answered: “Since for several years we were not able to have Christmas Eve fireworks, not able to go out of our homes, not able to sleep comfortably, we want Jesus to do a miracle for us so that we don’t hear guns, bombings and rockets anymore.”
Please pray for peace to come to Aleppo, all of Syria, Iraq and around the world in 2015.
Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Katie Rouse at 678-410-9575.