Saturday, October 13, 2012

Life in a country at war

Sometimes it seems like half the world has little idea what the other half is suffering.

The violence in Syria has caused thousands to flee for their lives, Open Doors reports. Many are displaced within Syria; many are refugees outside Syria, living in the most humiliating circumstances, without shelter, clean water, power, food and medical care.

Says a Christian pastor in Syria: "Millions are not sleeping in their own beds, forced out of their homes to find themselves with their children homeless and living in public parks or in the wilderness. Others are not sure if they or their children and loved ones will see the light of a new day. Tens of thousands of families lost loved ones - a child, a father, a mother or a husband.

"Hundreds of the injured died for lack of medical care. Thousands of children go to bed terrified of the sound of shelling. . .

"My people are hurting. I can cry like Nehemiah because the walls of our cities are burnt and the people in great trouble and disgrace. I can weep like Jeremiah because of the intensity and the spread of evil. I can mourn like David because of the indiscriminate brutal killing of innocent people, children, women, elderly, youth subject to shelling or under the rubble of their homes."

Approximately 30,000 are said to have died in the fighting. There are refugees in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon. There are 1.2 million displaced in Syria; 2.5 million in Syria need aid.

Many Christians have lost their houses or apartments. "Their apartments are easily confiscated by the rebels to be used for snipers," said a spokesman. "The Christian community is the only group that doesn't fight back or doesn't protect property with guns. So when the rebels search a place to stay or to use for their battle, they choose the houses and apartments of the softest target - the Christians."

The Christian pastor says outreach continues despite the terrible conditions. "We are here for a divine reason; we trust and rely on our sovereign loving Lord. We believe that we are in the midst of a spiritual war. In this country there are many who are much more effective than us militarily, politically, economically and socially, but none have the privilege of being effective in the spiritual battle like we are.

"We thank God because the church is united across the country in prayer 24 hours a day, seven days a week, praying for the glory of God to dwell in the church, praying for an end to the bloodshed, for peace in the country, for keeping the church's faithful witness, to reach out to the suffering, to share the divine cure of the gospel, to speak the word of the Lord in all boldness.

"While revenge, power and hatred are the worshipped gods and the highest values in a dirty sectarian political fight, by God's grace we are sowing the seeds of love and forgiveness. The church is active in relief work, trying to reach the suffering with the love of Christ.

"We deeply appreciate the prayers of God's people everywhere; it is a rare time where the church in Syria is feeling the oneness of the body of Christ all over the globe. For this, we thank the Lord, for it is a great encouragement to us."

Find out more here.