Since a violent civil war in Syria began more than three years ago, more than 1 million refugees have fled into neighboring Lebanon seeking safety, food, and shelter. Today, the church in Lebanon continues to respond with compassion to the needs of refugees displaced by the violence.
Since 2011, when the fighting began, 1.2 million children have fled their homes and communities in hopes of escaping the violence. Now, “a total of 5.5 million Syrian children, in and outside their country, are estimated to be in need of humanitarian assistance.”
The problem seems insurmountable, and the needs of children and families continue to grow; however in the midst of this crisis, we find glimpses of God’s kingdom breaking through. The church in Lebanon began welcoming refugee children and families from Syria by providing food and shelter. Then, when it became apparent that these children couldn’t return home and needed to continue their education, the church started making space for traumatized children in Nazarene schools. Today there are more than 280 Syrian children enrolled in schools that are supported through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, and the impact on their lives has been profound.
One mother shared, “My daughter was nearly deaf from childhood, and when she was 6 years old, she could not say a word. After just two months at this school, she started saying some words, and I could not believe my ears. My daughter was depressed and now cannot wait to come to the school.”
We are seeing glimpses of God’s kingdom as people engage in compassionate ministry with their neighbors in need. This story and others like it remind us of the command found in Zechariah 7:9: “This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another’” (NIV).
We are thankful for the opportunity to support those who long to embody the compassionate love of God to people experiencing some of life’s most difficult circumstances.
Will you join us in continuing to pray for peace in Syria and for the millions of refugees who have been displaced by violence? If you would like to help provide education, meals, or shelter for Syrian refugees in need, please click the button below.
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