Do you remember Jina and her son, Apo, from Syria? Ever since Jina’s husband, Rober, was kidnapped over ten years ago, the family have been supported by local Open Doors partners through a Centre of Hope. Thanks to you – and a supernatural dream – Jina and Apo are thriving in new ways!
In 2019, we introduced you to Jina and her son, Apo, from Syria. Jina’s husband, Rober, was kidnapped in 2013 by Islamic extremists while on a work trip because he’s a Christian.
Thanks to your continued prayers and support, and help from a local Centre of Hope, Jina and Apo (now ten years old) are flourishing. Jina is being trained as a beautician in a local beauty salon – something she loves.
“A lot of things have changed in my life since the last time you came here,” Jina says. “The organisation (Open Doors) helped me a lot to find this work.
“I love make-up. I have loved make-up ever since I was a child. Now whenever I see one of my friends, I say, ‘Come, let me do your make-up!’ Now I’m doing their make-up and practising, thanks to the organisation. I want to develop my skills to make this an income source – you know how expensive it is nowadays, everything is expensive – for me and for my son to be able to survive and live decently.”
Apo spends a lot of time with other children at the Centre of Hope, playing games and attending classes. “What I like most at school is the sports class,” he says. “I play basketball and sometimes the coach trains me and we play against another team. I also have swimming class and play football.”
Thankfully, Jina and Apo are safe after the recent earthquakes - as they shared in a video message to Open Doors supporters.
Jina struggled bringing Apo up on her own. He used to misbehave a lot – but he’s found a place to channel all of his energy through the sports he plays.
Apo is really enjoying his classes at the Centre of Hope and is looking forward to Christmas
Initially, she wasn’t sure if she should begin the training at the salon. But God spoke to Apo in a dream! “One morning my son said, ‘Mum, I saw Jesus’,” Jina remembers. “He said, ‘Jesus asked me to be a good son to you and not to give you a hard time. And to be good in my school.’ He continued with, ‘Mum, you should go work. I will listen to what you say and be a good son to you, I am okay with whatever you want.”
Life has not been easy for Jina and Apo. So many years have now passed since Rober’s disappearance that the authorities officially designate Jina as a widow. “We still don’t know about him,” Jina says. “It’s been ten years and we haven’t heard of him. Nothing. My son looks at the picture and cries. I ask him why he’s crying, and he says, “When will my dad come back? They all have fathers and mothers and I only have a mother. I don’t have a father.”
But through the help she and Apo are receiving through the Centre of Hope, Jina is optimistic about the future. “If I continue this path, my future is good, my income will be good. I thank you who supported me from the bottom of my heart. I pray that God will bless you and will open new doors for you to continue to help us in Syria.”
The World Watch List parliamentary launch represents a wonderful opportunity to highlight the plight of our persecuted family to those in power. Earlier this year, more than 90 MPs attended the event – and that's because they were invited by Open Doors supporters like you! Can you invite your MP to next year's event? It's taking place on Wednesday 18 January.
Your support helps persecuted Christians continue to courageously follow Jesus.
Together, we can reach those where persecution hits hardest.