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Sparking hope by rebuilding lives: George’s story

“I thank the people who gave money and helped me – very, very much.” 54-year-old George is delighted with his electrician’s shop in Aleppo, as are his customers. A few years ago, it didn’t look possible – but, thanks to your support and prayers, George has been able to return to Syria and rebuild his life with his family.

Conflict sent George away

When conflict came to Aleppo, George lost his job as an electrician. “The situation was bad. I’m one of those people who love to work, so it was hard.” As he had no income, he felt forced to leave Syria in search of employment to support his wife and three children, who stayed behind in Aleppo.

“I found work abroad,” continues George, “but I was far away from my wife and children. Life was very tough.” It was especially tough for him to think about his family, vulnerable back in a warzone. “There was fear – fear – fear beyond limits. After I left, any news I heard from Syria terrified me. So many times, my wife and children stayed in the basement. It was very, very hard.”

Centres of Hope brought him back

Open Doors partners have opened 16 Centres of Hope in Syria, thanks to your support for the Hope for the Middle East campaign. The vision is to open another 20. Through these Centres of Hope, Open Doors is providing relief aid, medical care, trauma care, vocational training and loans and other activities – helping believers in Syria move beyond dependence on relief aid towards the self-reliance they are so keen to recover.

With a loan through a Centre of Hope, and approval of his income-generating proposal, George was able to return to Aleppo and open his electrician’s shop – and reunite with his family.

“With the financial help of the church I bought all of this. I bought everything you see in here with this money,” says George, indicating all the tools and equipment he needs to run his business. “When I opened the shop the people started to come. They know that my prices and my work are good.

“I thank God for this project; it is perfect for me. I needed to work and be successful, and it really succeeded.”

George in his electrician's shop

“I thank all who donated”

His income is now enough to support his family, and he is happy to report that they are living simply but well now. His life and their lives have been transformed – and he can be part of a community rebuilding itself after the traumas and devastation of war.

With a big smile, he expresses his thankfulness. “The help we got was something amazing. It is God’s mercy that made people donate. So many people helped and encouraged me. I thank all who donated - they stood next to me and were very good to us.”

Thank you for standing next to George. Please also stand by our other brothers and sisters in Syria as they find new livelihoods, new communities and new hope for the future. You can read more about Open Doors’ vision for Centres of Hope in Syria, and find out how your support can help more Christians like George to rebuild their lives, in our September magazine.

Please pray

  • Thank God for each of the small businesses that Open Doors has been able to support through our local partners in Syria
  • For the expansion of the Centres of Hope in Syria – that they may bring hope and life to many.

Want to hear more? Speakers from Nigeria, North Korea and Syria will be telling their stories at Open Doors' Standing Strong celebrations this November - book your place today!