Syria (MNN) — Syria is a poster child of displacement caused by conflict. In the last few years, millions of people have fled their homes, contributing largely to the current refugee crisis. But we cannot forget the large number of people who are also living in camps within the country. The latest tally of internally displaced people in Syria is up to 6.3 million, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
And still, the fighting wages on. Earlier this week, rebel fighters declared they would not continue peace talks until the latest ceasefire is fully observed on both sides. They claim the government offensive has broken the ceasefire, says NPR.
In addition, Syria is what’s known as a Red Zone — an area of acute religious persecution. Much of this has to do with the rise of ISIS in that region of the Middle East and their attacks against Christian minorities.
With a situation so complex, many people are stuck wondering how they can help. Global Advance has a humanitarian relief and development branch called Alpha Relief. It is a great opportunity for people all around the world to lend a hand to those struggling to survive. They have been distributing aid to believers inside Syria who have fled from persecution.
The outreach to Syria is based upon a much broader ministry. Alpha Relief, for instance, impacted many countries this past year.
According to Global Advance, they were able to bring aid to many countries, even those as opaque and inaccessible as North Korea. They distributed 414 tons of relief aid, passed out 3,097 Bibles, rescued 28 people, supported 47 undercover missionaries, supported 19 safe houses, and overall supported 27,220 people. That’s a lot to accomplish in one year, and it’s just one arm of Global Advance’s ministry.
Beyond Alpha Relief, Global Advance works to equip the global Church. Jonathan Shibley of Global Advance says they’ve had great opportunities for leadership training.
“We’ve had a tremendous year this year, just full of the Grace of God. The Lord allowed us to be active and involved in over 33 countries this year, being in front of and equipping over 42,000 frontline leaders as pastors, church planters, women through our Esther initiative, and then marketplace leaders as well.”
They are looking forward to what opportunities and blessings God brings about this year, and they are inviting believers like you to join them. Shibley says it starts by remembering the global Church in prayer.
“We as believers here in the West need to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world, especially in some of these Red Zone areas as persecution continues to rise.”
But, even amid the darkness, there is always hope. One thing that will remain the same year to year is the fact that believers can find strength in God.
“No matter what the situation is, the Gospel is good news, it anchors our souls, it helps us as believers to walk through whatever the situation may no matter how dark it is.”
If you would like to be a part of this ministry, consider supporting Christians in “Red Zones” through Alpha Relief. Learn more here.
And as you pray for these believers, please also pray for ministries like Global Advance who are trying to reach them.