As debate continues over Syria, a window of opportunity opens for PIONEERS

By September 6, 2013

Syria (MNN) — The Group of Twenty, otherwise known as G20, is the international platform where key leaders come together on the most important economic and financial issues. Five years after its creation, the global economic summit has been usurped.

World leaders are using the G20 as an extension of their “Syrian chessboard.”

The U.S. and France stand alone on one end of the spectrum. They’re pushing for military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Long-term allies Russia and Iran stand firmly beside Assad. With the help of China, Russia is effectively blocking any and all attempts in the UN Security Council to move forward with military action.

As the chess game continues, this war’s statistics remain unchanged.

Over two million Syrians have fled their homeland, seeking refuge in neighboring countries. Millions more are displaced within Syria. At least 100,000 people have died–6,000 of whom were children.

It’s easy to get “lost in the weeds” when it comes to Syria–the saber-rattling, the staggering statistics, the never-ending attacks–and lose sight of the impact on people made in God’s image.

Would that change if you spoke to some of Syria’s refugees? That’s exactly what PIONEERS Director of Development, Nathan Burns, did in recent days.

“It was very powerful, and very hopeless,” says Burns. “To sit in a room with a family who’s had their son stripped away, they’ve been shot at…they have nothing; they left it all behind. It’s very real, and in that moment, it kind of came crashing down on me.

“There wasn’t a lot I could say, but I could come back here and share it.”

A brief window of opportunity has opened for PIONEERS to increase its ability to care for and share Christ’s love with Syrian refugees. They’re hoping to take advantage of this opportunity by raising $200,000.

“By God’s grace and provision, we already have a $100,000 matching grant,” Burns explains, “which means if we can raise half of our goal, every one of those donors will have their money doubled, and we’ll hit the $200,000 mark.

“We’ve already seen people start new lives in Christ, and we hope to see many more,” he adds.

Currently, PIONEERS missionaries are providing holistic relief through material aid distribution, church-planting, a counseling center for women and children, and a children’s sports program.

“We are there trying to offer the hope that we can,” Burns says. “We hope that [in] this sort of situation, something can be redeemed out of it.”

By meeting basic needs, the love of Christ becomes tangible, and lives are changed.

“We’re sharing the Gospel of Christ,” says Burns. “We’ve already seen 10 families come to Christ where we’re ministering.”

Can you help PIONEERS reach more Syrians with the hope and love of Christ? Click here.

“And don’t forget to pray,” says Burns. “We need the prayers to redeem a situation this big, this terrible.

“The evil one is at work, and he can do great damage. But that’s why we’re sharing [that] there is hope, and that’s who our God is: a Redeemer.”

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