Out of the ashes, hope can rise in Iraq and Syria

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Syria: 'God has sent you from heaven' say Aleppo families

25 August 2017

In Syria, while some have been able to repair their homes and start small business in areas that have become more stable, thousands remain in great need as the war continues. Your prayers and support are enabling Open Doors' partners to provide 15,500 Syrian families with food packs and hygiene kits.

Samer's* family is one of those receiving food through a local church that Open Doors partners with in Aleppo. He has a job, but still struggles to support his family. "My salary is too low," Samer explains. "I have a salary of about 60 US dollars a month. Half of it goes to the home rent. My family needs between 200 and 300 dollars per month. If one of us gets sick, we can't afford to go to a doctor or buy medicine. We cannot pay for school materials."

The food aid provided thanks to your prayers and support makes a real difference. "I can tell you that not a single family in Aleppo can live and continue to raise their children without receiving help. This aid helps us to get through this difficult period. Thank you. The continued assistance you provide gives us hope to continue our life with our families staying in our dear country."

Every £42 could provide a month's emergency food supplies for a displaced family in Syria.


Another family receiving support through Open Doors local partners is Nazle's family. She is a single mother; her husband was sent to prison, and although he has been released, he no longer wishes to see Nazle or his children, Mary (7) and Antoine (8).

Nazle works as a waitress in Aleppo to try to support her children. When our local partners visited her, they were shocked to find that Mary and Antoine could not read or write. Nazle said, "I am sad that I could not send my children to school, knowing they need education. But I just couldn't afford it."

With your help, Mary and Antoine are now going to school. Nazle says, "God has sent you from heaven. Without your help in paying for the rent, I do not know what would have happened to me. I thank you for your help to me. My life has changed now I am receiving the food packages and the help.

"My kids started to attend Sunday school at the church, and for the first time in years I feel that there is some hope. I can see hope through the smiles on the faces of my kids. Through them I recognise Jesus Christ, the giver of hope and life."


Bring hope to the Middle East

In Syria, the war rages on, and Christians continue to be a target for Islamic extremists. While the self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) have largely been driven out of Mosul and the Nineveh Plain in Iraq, they have left terrible devastation behind them.

Incredibly, there are Christians who are choosing to stay in the Middle East, the birth place of Christianity, because they believe that God has called them to shine as lights in the darkest of days. They have a vision to rebuild their homes and communities.

But this won't happen overnight. This is why the global Hope for the Middle East campaign is a seven-year campaign. Your support is keeping hope alive for thousands of families in Iraq and Syria, and we must continue to walk with them for as long as they need us. Here are four things you can do to support your persecuted brothers and sisters:

  • Pray. Pray for the people you've read about in this article - Samer, Nazle, Mary, Antoine. Ask God to protect them, give them strength, and provide for all their needs. Pray for energy and wisdom for Open Doors partners working to support believers in Syria and Iraq. Ask God to continue to use His church in Iraq and Syria as a light in the darkness.
  • Give. Every £42 could provide a month's emergency food supplies for a displaced family in Syria.
  • Speak out. Sign the One Million Voices of Hope petition, calling for equality, dignity and responsibility for Christians and other minorities in Syria and Iraq. Ask others to sign it too.
  • Tell your church. Order a free Rebuild Hope pack, full of ideas and resources to help everyone in your church, of any age, to connect with their church family in the Middle East.

*Photos used for illustrative purposes - they show young people in Aleppo, but not the families mentioned in these stories.

More News from Syria:

Find out more about persecution in Syria.