Syria: Open Doors Helps Provide Fuel during Brutal Winter; ‘Finally We Slept as Human Beings’

February 10, 2015 by Janelle P

For more than 46 months Syria has been suffering through a bloody and destructive civil war. From Aleppo, pastor Samuel (his real name protected for security reasons) gives regular insights in what Syrians face on a daily basis.

This year is one of the coldest years in the history of Aleppo. People are suffering from the freezing weather because they have no means to heat their houses. They can only purchase fuel from the black market, paying six times more than the regular price. Unfortunately, due to the war and the economic situation, people have no jobs and therefore the priority is to buy food rather than fuel.

I thank God for the support our church receives to enable us to help the needy families to purchase fuel. Open Doors is working with churches and other Christian partners to provide Syrian Christians with basic supplies and fuel. The people who received fuel are very thankful.

I met with a family that consists of a widow, 76, with three children (all not married). Her children are not able to work because of illness, except one who works cleaning houses. For 38 days she never took a shower because she had no fuel to have hot water.

After receiving a subsidy, the following day she called me in tears saying: “Pastor, what a miracle is this? How can we thank you for this miraculous support? Imagine after more than five weeks we were able to have a shower and we were able to heat the living room. Finally we slept as human beings.”

Also, I met with a displaced mother with three daughters. Her husband left her and left the country as well. She is working as a cleaning lady to feed her children. She is not able to purchase fuel.

After receiving a subsidy, their kids’ reaction was happily jumping up and down and saying: “Pastor, my mother bought us some fuel and for the first time in weeks we had hot water and took a shower.”

Another daughter was so happy because she was studying her school lessons, not in bed, but in the living room. The room was warm enough to study there due to the fuel that her mother bought.

Syria is ranked No. 4 on the Open Doors 2015 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians.

Compiled by Jerry Dykstra. For media inquiries, contact Christine Cape at 404-545-0085 or Katie Rouse at 678-410-9575.

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