Syria (MNN) – As Syrians cope with years of war and the new reality of COVID-19, the Program for Theological Education by Extension (PTEE) praises God for the ability to continue classes.
For years, both Christians and the majority populations in Syria have felt the effects of upheaval. ISIS ravaged homes and cities, making life difficult for anyone in their path. Buildings and livelihoods have been destroyed.
Yet Syrian people, especially the Syrian Church, have been persistent. A PTEE leader* says, “People continue to pray. They continue to go to the church. They continue to study and we see this amazing, amazing example.”
PTEE sees leaders both being trained and training new leaders from the majority population. Their local partners report that the Syrian Church is not weakened by the struggles facing it, but is alive and active. Syrian Christians persist in showing the world what it looks like to love God despite hardships.
Offering Training for Evangelical Leaders
PTEE seeks to be part of this growth by providing evangelical theological studies in Arabic to Arabic-speaking Christians and church leaders. The leader says, “We are praising the Lord for the media and, in spite of many difficulties, for the Church in Syria. We still have a big number of classes there. One of the biggest classes in the Arab countries are Syria.”
God is working in the various in-person locations where they hold classes, including a medical center and various churches. The organization also moved to online education, like many other programs, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Teachers hold classes over Zoom and communicate with students through WhatsApp.
Support Training for Church Leaders
Students are receiving theological education, but they still face difficulties. The leader emphasizes that while God has been gracious in many ways, war and COVID-19 have caused trouble for Christian Syrians.
“We need really to back up this country in our prayer and in our support,” he says. “Please, if you’d love to support the church or the study or families, [many] are in very severe difficulty.”
Pray that the Church would persist in loving God and their neighbors during a very difficult time. Pray also that students would continue to complete their lessons and receive training, uninterrupted by the circumstances around them.
Learn how you can join the work of PTEE here.
*Name withheld for security purposes.
Header image courtesy of Marc Veraart on Flickr https://bit.ly/3fiQVNC