The Syrian Civil War has been an epic crisis as the Assad regime attempts to retain its rule whilst ISIS rebels and others seek to wrest control as part of an attempt to establish an Islamic caliphate. About half of the Christian population has disappeared from the country either by death or diaspora. Yet, despite major media headlines, there is evidence that the Lord God is at work in the midst of the conflict.
Many Syrians have sought safety in refugee camps across the Lebanon border. A multitude of international governmental and non-governmental organizations have labored relentlessly to provide food, clothing, supplies, medical aid, sanitation, and educational assistance. Reports are reaching us that clearly indicate that the Lord is providing a harvest of hope from those who have been suffering through the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II.
Millions of refugees are fleeing for their lives, willingly exposing themselves and their families to danger, in order to escape the horrors of war.
Heart for Lebanon reports that their work in the camps is producing fruit as they establish and build relationships with the Syrians and their children. The aid the FBO provides is available to all who need it. In addition, the organization teaches Bible lessons within their education program as well as weekly Bible studies throughout the camp for any who wish to attend.
Often, the first to attend Bible studies are parents of children who have become obedient, do not insult others, and who even pray before their meals. They show up at the Bible studies wanting to understand how this positive change has happened in such discouraging conditions.
Despair’s companion, hatred, has multitudes of the refugees locked in its grip. They want to go home, and they want payback for those who chased them from their homes. That is understandable. Heart for Lebanon shows them a better way.
We’re telling them that forgiveness is the best solution. We’re teaching them about forgiveness. We’re teaching them about reconciliation. We’re teaching them about loving each other.
When that happens, when the beleaguered and persecuted understand the enduring love of Jesus, things change.
Teaching about that love is not enough. The Syrian people place a great deal of importance on relationships. In many ways, they exemplify the adage that “I don’t care what you know until I know that you care.”
For this reason, Heart for Lebanon workers spend a significant amount of time visiting and spending time with families. They take time to get to know the families and understand their individual situations. Listening and becoming attuned to each family’s needs is evidence that they care.
Many Syrian refugees have come to see Christ as field staff demonstrate compassion and care in this time of crisis. Beyond the headlines, the Lord is doing a mighty work as disenfranchised people in Lebanon, Syria, and all parts of the world find refuge in the unfathomable love of Christ flowing through those who love Him and who desire to share that great love with others in their time of crisis.
To read more news on Syria on Missions Box, go here.
- Christian Daily, Syrian Muslims find Jesus after ISIS brutality: ‘Christianity was the religion I was searching for’
- Mission Network News, Relationships: an avenue for changed lives in Lebanon
- Heart for Lebanon, Not So Fast
- Aid to the Church in Need, Syria
- Russell Watkins/Department for International Development [CC BY 2.0]