The ceasefire has reportedly brought some calm to the region, although violence hasn’t ended completely. The civil war in Syria has lasted nine years, and the country has been decimated. Waves of refugees have fled through Turkey and all over Europe.
Many refugees also came to Idlib earlier in the war. Now they are being scattered by this new attack as the Syrian regime, backed by Russia and Iran, tries to take Idlib back from the rebels.
Now they have to flee again in the winter, and Turkey has stopped taking refugees. People are living in cramped and dangerous conditions.
Tired of hearing about it?
Nine years is a long war. Jane* from Cry Out Now says, “The horrible stories aren’t changing, they just [move] from one place to the next. But it’s still hard to hear. So, I think many people are tuning out just because . . . they’re kind of tired of hearing about it.”
And it isn’t just people in the West who are tired of the civil war; people in the surrounding countries are exhausted, too. “They’re tired of . . . seeing how jobs that should be going to the local population goes to refugees. Because they are willing to work for cheaper. So, I think even surrounding countries are tired of the war. We all want to see it end.”
Revival in Syria
That’s why Jane is involved with a network committed to praying for Syria until revival comes. “And we have an expectation that God is going to do something radical within Syria.”
Those involved hail mostly from surrounding countries, and many have worked with Syria before. Jane says, “We want to stand in the gap for this nation until we see revival come.”
The endeavor seems hopeless since so much of Syria lies in ruins. Wouldn’t it just be easier to start over? In the gatherings, Christians have been led by the Holy Spirit to pray that Syrian believers would return to the ruined city of Raqqa and rebuild it.
For Idlib, they are not only praying for an end to violence. They are praying for people to have visions and dreams of seeing Jesus himself walking through the streets.
“Because it’s the cities that you feel are the most damaged, the most broken. ‘Why would anybody want to go back there?’ But the saints of God are saying, ‘no, even the darkest places, and even the hardest places, and even the places that have been the headquarters for enemy forces, those are the places where God wants to bring new life, new joy, new hope, and revival.’”
Because God doesn’t abandon anything. He is a God of restoration and rebirth. Jesus heals, restores, and resurrects.
Do not forget
Jane encourages Christians not to forget about Syria, despite the constant news of war and refugees. “So join us in praying for this nation. For God to really come and turn around the destruction, death, and pain the enemy has caused . . . That there will be celebration from this place of mourning. That there will be dancing in the streets where women have cried because they’ve lost so much.”
*name changed for security purposes
Refugees from Idlib (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)