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Hope for the Middle East: Training for leaders in Syria helps the church to grow

27 February 2018

As fighting continues in parts of Syria, Open Doors local partners have been providing 17,000 families with vital food aid every month, thanks to your support and prayers.

But you are also helping to provide long-term support to Christians in Syria who have chosen to stay and care for their communities. Training programmes funded by Open Doors are giving church leaders the skills and confidence to help their churches to grow, despite the ongoing conflict that has decimated the number of Christian leaders in the country.

Biblical training for church members, pastors and priests is one of the main pillars of Open Doors’ work in Syria. Last year, with your support, Open Doors partners provided training for 21,589 Syrian believers.

In ten different venues across the country, 370 Christian children’s workers and teachers were recently trained in interactive teaching methods.

	Syrians receiving food parcels in Aleppo

Children’s worker Danny Maida from Homs’ Syriac Orthodox Church attended the three-day programme. During the war, he suddenly became responsible for children and scouts aged 5 to 12. He says, “You must know, in Homs we had a crisis in the church. Because of the war, many leaders of the church left the country. All of a sudden, we lay people were the leaders of the church. So, we needed training. I didn’t know how to do all this.”

Throughout the war, Open Doors has continued to support biblical training for Syrian Christians in leadership, discipleship, trauma awareness and preparing Christians to face persecution. When the fighting in Homs was over, the church had two responsibilities, according to Danny: “Of course we had to rebuild the buildings, but our first responsibility was to build up the people.”

Danny says, “This training changed my life and it changed the way I work with the children. Because we participated with all denominations, I now have friends also in the other churches. We help each other and exchange ideas.”

The children’s group at Danny’s church has grown because of this new way of working. “We had 65 children, now we have 100. The children have seen the change, they love it. They already said to me: ‘You’re doing things much better than you did before’!”

Please pray:

  • Give thanks that, despite the dangers, Open Doors partners are able to reach and train so many believers to stand firm
  • That God would continue to build His church through the courage and faith of His people.

Give to support families in Syria and the Middle East. Every £42 could provide a month’s emergency food supplies for a displaced family in Syria with no other support.

What is the Hope for the Middle East campaign?

More News from syria:

Find out more about persecution in Syria