AL-HWASH, SYRIA — When Alaa was displaced because of the Syrian war, he found a brighter future through a Centre of Hope, which helped him to establish a sawmill business.
“It’s an indescribable feeling for someone to be displaced, to lose his house, to lose everything he has.”
It was 2011 when Alaa fled his home in Homs after the civil war broke out in Syria.
“Homs was a beautiful city. It was a safe city. Before the war Homs was an amazing city. My work was going well and my financial situation was very good. Then this crisis came and everyone knows what happened then. The neighbourhood we were in was infiltrated by rebels. It was unbearable to live there anymore. So we were displaced. We got out with only our clothes. That’s it. We didn’t take anything else – it was all left back in Homs – not a single thing.”
Alaa and his brothers moved about 20 miles east of Al-Hwash, where they found only low-income work. The church there runs a charity kitchen which provided good food – and now Alaa himself delivers meals to others. Later he was given a microloan to open a sawmill like he and his brothers had back in Homs.
“When the machines were in the car, that was my biggest joy. When they put them in the store, my joy was even bigger. It was a joyful moment to go back to your field of work and work in your own store. It’s a beautiful feeling.”
Alaa has faced hardship and also new opportunities and he knows that God is there in every circumstance.
“God is present in each moment, in each second. We always thank God. No matter what happens with us we praise the Lord.”
About Open Doors UK
For over 60 years, Open Doors UK has worked in the world’s most oppressive countries, empowering Christians who are persecuted for their beliefs. Open Doors equips persecuted Christians in more than 60 countries through programs like Bible & Gospel Development, Women & Children Advancement, and Christian Community Restoration.