“I am writing this from Lebanon, where we are meeting Christian leaders from different regions in Syria. They are not refugees. For seven years, they have faithfully served the people of their regions through deep despair, severe suffering and extreme sacrifice. There are no words to describe the conditions that millions faced, and are still facing, in cities like Aleppo, Homs, Damascus and Jaramana.
But the message we heard was not the one we expected. It was not by people who lamented and bemoaned the fact that they are victims in an unjust society. There was a contagious excitement among those we met. Without exception, the one message they all shared was simply: NOW IS THE TIME!”
“Aleppo is God’s paradise,” one leader explained. “This is where souls are coming into the Kingdom and where sower and harvester meets today.” “There is a new Syria in God’s heart,” declared the other pastor. “God has a great plan for the Middle East and we experience that this is the ‘Golden Age’ for evangelism.” “In the core of the pain exists hope,” shared another pastor from Aleppo. “The greater the pain, the greater the search for hope. This has made the Church the only legitimate solution to what people are searching for.”
In listening to testimony after testimony, we realised that the hardship and suffering in Syria not only prepared the soil for harvest but also prepared the souls of the harvesters. Seven years of war transformed the Church.
- For physical and emotional strength for pastors.
- For Spirit-filled pastors.
- That ministries from the Western world will not come into Syria and “contaminate” the Syrian church with their own brand of Christianity and doctrinal preferences.