Lebanon (MNN) — A fire sparked by a heater in the Bekaa Valley refugee camps last month spread and left 60 Syrians homeless. It’s just one of the dangers that nearly one million displaced Syrians faced during the winter months in Lebanon.
Around 250,000 Syrian refugees live in the Bekaa Valley where it can dip below freezing. The threat of illness increases in the refugee camps when wintry waters flood the tents. Those fortunate enough to have heaters risk the danger of fires starting — an especially treacherous element when tents are packed closely together.
Triumphant Mercy Ministries serves Syrian refugees living in Lebanon by providing food aid, medicine, and clothing. They have even started a literacy and education program for refugee children.
Nuna with Triumphant Mercy says everything their ministry does is in the name of Jesus. Despite the challenges, they are seeing God move in incredible ways. One story that recently struck her was how Jesus showed himself to a Syrian refugee man.
“His wife couldn’t have a baby and he couldn’t have a baby. The doctor said, in a million years, he cannot have a baby.”
The team with Triumphant Mercy built a relationship with this man and prayed with him and his wife. Not long after that, his wife miraculously became pregnant!
“Immediately, it was an answer to prayer. He’s a Muslim and he came to us and he said, ‘I know you have something that we don’t have.’ So, later on, we followed up with him and I was asking him about the name he wants to give his baby and he didn’t know what he wanted to call him. But then Jesus appeared to him in a dream — he said a man in white, he didn’t know who he was so it was a man in white coming to him — and [Jesus] said, ‘I came to give you a name for your son.’ So long story short, the baby was born and he named him the name the man in white gave him.”
Nuna shares, “After that, we started to follow up with him and teach him the concept of Jesus and sin and repentance and all this. Because the Muslims don’t have the concept of sin, they don’t need a savior. So they needed to know the concept of sin and that they need salvation from sin, which is the problem of the world.”
The Syrian man started to experience a gradual heart-change as he learned more about the truths found in God’s Word and about a relationship with Jesus Christ.
“Later on, he started to evangelize, even though he was still in the process of becoming a believer. He started to evangelize without knowing, just telling his story, telling his testimony everywhere,” says Nuna.
“Now we’ve been following up with him with Bible studies so he will be grounded in the Word…. I believe if we continue with him [and] if we keep getting him more grounded in the Word, when he goes back home, he will have something to share and he will have knowledge about what he is sharing. He has a Bible, he is reading his Bible now, and everything he is experiencing is new to him.”
Nuna says this man’s incredible story isn’t uncommon. Syrian refugees are largely Muslim, but many are in a spiritual crisis.
“There is so much hunger in people and we can just see the hunger they have for the Word of God. At the same time, there is also the flip of it which is lots of tension politically and militarily. So it’s both. In one way, you can see the tension of all the situations and we are really feeling we are on the brink of war. But at the same time, there is so much of God doing something that is above and beyond anything we can imagine.”
Triumphant Mercy is currently increasing leadership training so they can equip indigenous Syrian Christian leaders to reach their own people. Then, whether they immigrate to another country or return to their homes in Syria, they can be a light for Christ wherever they go.
“We used to sow a lot of seeds,” shares Nuna, “but now it’s more than just sowing the seeds. It’s watering and making it grow and making it a strong foundation.”
It probably comes as no surprise that to serve hundreds of thousands of refugees takes a lot of resources and teamwork. If you’d like to support Triumphant Mercy, click here to visit their website!
But Nuna says something they covet from every believer is especially prayer. Please pray for God to reveal himself to more Syrian refugees who need his hope and love. Pray that more Christians in Lebanon and around the world will engage this window of opportunity to reach refugees in the name of Jesus Christ.
“I believe this window of opportunity is for the whole Middle East from Lebanon to the Middle East. If we don’t use this now, we can lose it — and we’ve lost so many opportunities in the past, in the history of Christianity. I really don’t want to miss this one. So pray for more harvesters and pray for an intentional proclamation of the Gospel — not just good works. We can do good things, but there is a higher purpose that we have. I want people to see that there is a higher purpose and it is not just good works.”
(Header photo courtesy of SAT-7)