As Open Doors’ Hope for the Middle East campaign continues, you might have noticed a lot of references to Centres of Hope in Syria. If you’re wondering exactly what a Centre of Hope is, then look no further!
Put simply, a Centre of Hope is a place where the local church(es) can build, maintain and strengthen relationships with their community for building and supporting healthy and sustainable life. It’s usually a building that is rented or already owned by the church.
Through Centres of Hope, local churches are helping their communities to rebuild and thrive through a combination of activities relating to spiritual, physical and emotional help. These needs differ and vary according to each Centre of Hope.
Looking after a community’s spiritual needs might include things like discipleship, Bible study, leadership training and supplying Bibles and other Christian literature. Practical training and help often includes distributing relief aid, health and medical assistance, repairing homes, income-generating projects, education and microloans. Centres of Hope also try to look after people emotionally, through counselling, theatre or sports ministry.
A Centre of Hope in development in Safita, Syria
While Centres of Hope, like Pastor Abdalla’s church, continue to distribute vital relief aid to people who have remained in Syria during the war, there is now a growing focus on supporting Christians who are returning to Syria through microloans, vocational training and income-generating projects. George and Vartouhi are two believers who have benefited from micro-loans – they now run successful businesses that are not only supporting them with a livelihood but are also supporting and feeding back into their communities!
Centres of Hope could not exist or provide the help that they do without your prayers and support – thank you.