Syria (MNN) — No matter who you are or where you’re reading this today, if you follow Christ you have an important task ahead of you.
“We, as believers in Jesus Christ, have a duty, a responsibility, to seek out others,” Samuel* of Redemptive Stories says.
“We need to love our neighbor as ourselves. I have a responsibility to seek out a relationship and communicate the truth of Jesus Christ, to care for them and love them, even though they might not be someone I like or enjoy.”
Samuel and other believers at Redemptive Stories work with Syrian refugees in the Middle East. Two refugee families recently came to Christ, but they didn’t leave their conflict at the cross.
“There were new believing families that were interacting detrimentally towards one another [in] one of the programs that we run,” Samuel says.
“The youths were carrying out some of the fighting and interpersonal dynamics caused by the parents’ issues [at] the school, and causing issues among the other students.”
Redemptive Stories staff initiated Bible studies with the families, teaching these new believers about forgiveness and reconciliation. “When they (Syrians) come to faith, they [need to] see the world through a different lens. We (believers) don’t do the same thing that your Arab culture tells you to do,” Samuel says.
“Jesus has a new way, a new culture. He has a new system called the Kingdom of God that looks very different, acts very different than the system I came out of.”
The Holy Spirit moved in these new believers’ hearts as they studied God’s Word. Today, the two families live in peace. Pray these believers can teach other Syrians what they’ve learned.
“God used that experience, as well as the work of the Holy Spirit, in each one of their hearts to begin to heal those relationships and to create reconciliation,” Samuel says.
Pray for a wider reconciliation movement to sweep across Syria and through Syrian refugee populations in the Middle East. “Pray for reconciliation; that’s one of the biggest prayers that we continue to have for Syria as a whole,” Samuel says.
“The ministry of reconciliation is going to be a deep, long process. There are deep-seated issues of distrust and hatred.”
*–Name changed for security purposes.
Header image is a representative photo of Syrian refugee children. (Photo courtesy of Pietro Ferreira/Flickr/CC2.0)