Syria (Global Advance) — [Alpha Relief is the humanitarian arm of Global Advance. The following story comes from an onsite relief partner working inside Syria.]
It appears the Syrian crisis is becoming old news. Frankly, there are some things we as the body of Christ can’t afford to forget.
Seven million people, displaced by war and ISIS terrorists, remain trapped inside Syria. An overwhelming number of these are followers of Jesus. Those who have fled to safer zones outside of Damascus are forced to camp in small rented rooms or makeshift shelters. Some even resort to searching through the trash for their next meal.
As nearby Alpha Relief partners began making contact with persecuted believers trapped inside Syria, a common theme emerged: “We feel as though we’ve been forgotten by the outside church.”
In the height of the crisis, the world set its attention on Syrians who had escaped, sending aid to refugee camps in open European countries. These initiatives are incredibly important,ut someone needs to ensure those trapped inside Syria aren’t overlooked.
Gabriel is an on-site Alpha Relief partner who has made it his mission to bring hope to displaced Christians remaining in Syria. He has been given special access to an area outside Damascus where a network of local pastors are desperately trying to aid over 1,000 families near their churches. Risking the continual dangers of being in a war zone, Gabriel makes the journey from a border country each month to offer food, essential living resources, and the message that the church around the world remembers their plight.
Just this week, Gabriel sent an update from his latest mission inside Syria. He spent time with Maath, a 53-year-old man who had almost completely given up hope. With tears streaming down his face, Maath told how his entire family had fled their homes when their city was attacked. They later learned that all their possessions had been stolen and their homes destroyed. To make matters worse, his two sons were taken by the Syrian army to fight in the war against ISIS. The hurting father had spiraled into depression, losing weight, and finally his strength.
Gabriel’s visit awakened something in Maath. As Gabriel sat near his bedside, holding his hand and praying over him, Maath suddenly felt a glimmer of hope. He begged his visitor to return again.
Gabriel’s next trip takes place just a few days before Easter. This time his mission will focus on a network of 23 local Syrian pastors who every day minister to families like Maath’s. These hurting heroes of the faith are giving all they can while facing the same poverty and persecution. If they lose hope, many under their care may also fall.
Gabriel needs our help in raising $23,000 ($1,000 for each pastor) to support an Easter gift of food, basic living resources, and the most urgent needs of the pastors’ churches. This is an invitation to be a part of one of the greatest rescue stories of our time. Would you prayerfully consider giving toward this Easter outreach? Together we can ensure that the Syrian persecuted church knows they are not forgotten.