Hope in Aleppo
For more than four years, Syria has been in the midst of a bloody and destructive civil war. Pastor Samuel (his real name protected for security reasons), a pastor known to Open Doors, reports regularly from Aleppo, providing insight into the daily lives of Syrians:
“A few weeks ago, the parents of a 12-year-old girl and a 7-year-old boy came to me very frustrated. They described their family life as hell. The father lost his workshop because of the war and has been jobless for more than three years. They have no income at all.
Their children are living without friends since most of their classmates have left Syria, and insist they should leave Aleppo and pursue a life in a more peaceful place. The family quarrels out of frustration every day …
The two children are unable to sleep, especially when there are no lights on during the night. Most nights in Aleppo are spent in darkness because there is only one hour of electricity per day and that hour is during daytime. The children often have nightmares about extremists coming and killing them. In addition to emotional trauma, the children also suffer from malnutrition. Several times the parents said: “We wish we weren’t married and didn’t have children. Instead of being a blessing, the children are a burden on us. We are unable to communicate with them.”
I suggested they let the children attend our church Sunday school. Then, at least once a week, they could meet in the church with other children who live in similar circumstances. There they could sing, listen to Bible stories and play indoors with other children. We even offer the children a nutritional hot meal. We also provide them with Bibles and food parcels whenever possible.
Some weeks later, the parents came to me and said: “Pastor, it was a blessing for us and our children to attend the daily Bible camp. Before, our children were unable to sleep and they never prayed. Now, they are reading Bible stories and are praying every night. Their hope is in God. We want to thank God and the church for the food parcel as well. A smile has entered our home and our children now laugh sometimes, especially when they go to church. Praise the Lord because you are giving us a glimpse of hope in a hopeless situation.”
- Give thanks for Pastor Samuel and others like him who are ministering to the many desperate people living in Aleppo and other parts of Syria.
- Pray for open hearts to the Gospel amongst Syrians as they struggle with life. Pray that many will find hope and healing through Jesus.
- Pray for protection on Syrian Christians.
- Pray for peace in Syria, and across the Middle East.
Psalm 9 vs 18: “For the needy shall not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor perish for ever.”