Lebanon (MNN) — More than 10 million people in five Middle Eastern countries require help to survive another day. UN officials say it is the highest level of need since the Syrian refugee crisis began in 2011.
As Lebanon crumbles, Syrian refugees weigh their options. Nearly 90-percent of the Syrian refugee population cannot access food, clean water, or essential services.
“Because there are now so many Lebanese people struggling with food insecurity, there’s more pressure put upon them,” David* from Cry Out Now Ministries explains.
“Many refugees are starting to question whether or not they need to go back to Syria, even though that could mean going back to a war zone.”
The circumstances are dire, but God’s Spirit is moving. “Before the war in Syria, most people had very little opportunity to hear the Good News. Because they’ve been taking refuge in countries like Lebanon, many have ended up giving their lives to follow Jesus,” David says.
“We’re particularly seeing this amongst the Kurdish population from Syria.”
Dreams and visions
Kurds make up between 7- and 10-percent of Syria’s population and God is moving mightily among this group. Just ask Frank and Mary*, David says. “Frank had been coming in and out of Lebanon for a number of years to do work, which many of the Syrian men had been doing before the war. Once the war struck, he brought his family over,” he begins.
One night, Mary had a dream. “In the dream, she saw a man, and she was in what she assumed to be a church building. She was worshipping God in that building with other people,” David continues. Mary described the dream to her sister, who had recently attended a church near their new home in Lebanon.
“Whenever she describes the man from the dreams, her sister realized that this was the pastor from the church.”
Mary’s sister invited the couple to attend a church service with her. Afterward, they spoke with the pastor, and Mary confirmed he was the man she saw in her dream. “They ended up starting to discover more about Jesus, getting involved in Bible studies, and they give their lives to follow Jesus,” David says.
“[Now], they have been opening up their home and inviting other Syrians, particularly Kurds, to come and discover more about Jesus by doing Discovery Bible Studies. At least 40 or 50 people [are] involved, and quite a number of them are starting to decide whether or not they truly want to follow Jesus.”
Some new believers are taking the Gospel with them as they head back to Syria. “Be praying they would have a deeper knowledge of Scripture, and that they would start spreading the Good News further and further amongst the other Syrian Kurds,” David requests.
“The Kurds have the potential to bring the Good News to the majority of people in the Middle East who are Arabs.”
*–Names changed for security purposes.
Header image courtesy of Cry Out Now Ministries via Facebook.