Syria (MNN) — Triumphant Mercy Lebanon continues to offer Syrian refugees vocational training, business education, and the hope of the Gospel as many return to their war-torn country.
Though the situation in Syria remains difficult, Nuna* of Triumphant Mercy explains that for many, returning seems to be the better option.
“The pressure for them to go back home is increasing,” she explains. “The reality of living in Lebanon is becoming such a hard thing that [they] choose the lesser of two evils.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to deteriorate the situation in Lebanon, encouraging many to return to the country they fled.
“Sometimes it’s easier to go back into your own population, your own land, your family, somebody that you know in Syria who can host you, at least for a time,” Nuna says. “The situation in Lebanon [includes] the economic situation, the political situation, the threats of war or of conflict. There are so many threats that some people are just afraid of actually being here.”
As these refugees attempt to return, they must face a quarantine period because of COVID-19. However, the number trying to enter the country exceeds the capacity of quarantine facilities, meaning many have to simply wait.
However, amidst all the uncertainty, Nuna says Triumphant Mercy continues to come alongside these refugees.
“One of the things we’re doing in the center close to the border is preparing them with vocational trainings, some technological teachings, and even talking a lot about business startups,” she explains.
“We’re talking with many people about prospects, how to dream for a better future, and how to prepare for a future. You don’t just have a dream and then keep on dreaming. You have to actually walk through [it] so that they can see that there is a first step, second step, etc.”
In addition to these practical life skills, Triumphant Mercy shares the Gospel. Though COVID-19 has presented many challenges to ministry, Nuna explains that good has come out of it as well.
“Many have been receiving pieces of the Gospel for a long time. During the lockdown, we had the opportunity to actually have a Whatsapp group, several groups actually, and just continue a conversation,” she says.
“This has been easier in many cases because you don’t have the stress of family members visiting. When you send a message, they have the time to read it. They have the time to respond to it. It doesn’t have to be right away, but it can be a little bit later.”
Group members meeting via technology members can pass on what they’re learning to others. Even though some of these refugees will return to Syria, the conversation can continue from a distance.
“We know that many people were posting what we were sharing on other groups, so it has actually [allowed us] to go deeper and wider,” Nuna explains. “Even if they go back to Syria, we will be able to continue with this. Before COVID, we would go meet with people, but we were not able to go that wide.”
How You Can Help
As Triumphant Mercy continues to pour into refugees both within the borders of Lebanon and beyond, you can support them here. Most importantly, Nuna asks for prayer.
“Pray for open doors and that these doors will not be shut,” she says. “I know the enemy would try to shut every door so that the Gospel would not [spread], but we pray that the doors would stay open.”
*Name changed for security purposes.
Header image courtesy of Rashid Khreiss via Unsplash