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Comfort in Chaos and Calamity

Outreach initiatives to Syrian refugees in Lebanon

Brought up to hate Christians

Fatima is 46 years old. She is from Daraa/southern Syria. She used to attend the Quranic school, of which her father was the head. There, she learned to hate Christians. She vowed to dedicate her life to fighting against Christians.

Even as a young girl, Fatima placed responsibility for all injustice and tragedy that happened in her country on the shoulders of the Christians. However, she experienced the first great shock of her life, when her marriage to an elderly man was arranged without consulting her first. At the time, she was only 14 years old. When she complained about this, she was told that this is the fitting way, to marry off a young girl. ‘Or do you intent to rebel against Allah’s perfect law?’, her father yelled at her.

“I want no part in this religion“

This marriage turned out to be a constant trial. Time and again she was beaten by her husband. He asserted that Allah had given permission to husbands to discipline rebellious wives. Later, when she came to know how different Islamic factions and organisations fight each other and even massacre each other in the name of Allah, Anan told herself: ‘I want no part in this religion. Rather than believing in him, I will die without Allah.’ At the start of the Syrian civil war, Anan was expelled by her husband. Together with her mother, she escaped to Lebanon in 2015.”

It started through a hymn five years ago

Our Frontline Worker shares, “We came to know Fatima at Christmas 2016. She came to collect a food aid package at our centre. While waiting in the queue, she overheard a hymn with the words ‘You do not reject anyone, oh Son of God’. She did not leave until she had listened to the entire song. Then she requested a piece of paper and quickly jotted down the lyrics.

After that, we didn’t hear again from Anan for a long time. Then in 2021, she attended our church’s Christmas celebration. After the end of the program, she told us how deeply that hymn had touched her, which she had heard at our premises five years earlier. One of our Syrian converts from the refugee camps gave Fatima a gospel of Luke as well as the booklet of the Call of Hope ‘What must I do to be saved?’. In September of 2022, Anan told me: ‘Pastor John, I have placed all must trust and all my hope solely in Jesus, the Son of God. He is my only support. When will you baptise me?‘

Why Islam hates the cross

Sis. Fatima participated in our two-month-long baptism classes and was baptised on November 21, 2022, in our church. Her baptism verse was 1 Corinthians 1:18: ‘For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.’

In front of more than two hundred brothers and sisters in faith from Syria and Lebanon, all former Muslims, Fatima confessed:

‘My dear brothers and sisters, today I know why Islam hates the cross so much. It is Satan who hates the cross, because he knows: At the cross his plans to forever cause the perdition of people were thwarted. At the cross, the Son of God gained the victory over sin and death. Let us make every effort to reach all with the Good News of the cross.’

Dear friends of our mission, please pray for Sis. Fatima.

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