Diary from Damascus
Words from the heart of a Syrian Christian
"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it." - Proverbs 22:6
Hanna*, a Christian woman living in the capital Damascus with her husband and two young daughters, once again shares with us what daily life is like in the capital of Damascus. Hanna works at a local Christian school.
"The situation keeps getting worse and the war is coming closer and closer. It has been a terrible week for the schools in the Christian area I live in. [On] Monday... around noon... my husband and I went out from the school to go home. We heard more mortars than usual. When we were walking the streets we saw a crowd approaching. When it came closer we saw it was a crowd of running and crying fathers and mothers on their way to the school of their children. A mortar had [fallen] on one of the classrooms. We started running to our home because we didn't feel safe.
"Yesterday... the sounds of mortars were near and we heard of more attacks on schools in our area. Parents were calling us in panic to make sure that their children were ok. I decided to take all the children to the church. There the whole school started praying. The children like to sing a special song we have that asks for protection over Syria. So we sang it. They all got on their knees and some started crying. I saw that the song made them feel more peaceful, less anxious. In the evening one of the mothers of the children called me. She is not very religious herself, but seeing her children pray made a big impression on her. She told me that her children didn't want to stop praying and that there was something very special, very peaceful about them. She saw that praying changed her children.
"Today was another horrible day. Many schools got attacked and children died. Our school wasn't attacked, but we didn't have a normal day: we just prayed together instead of having lessons.
"After we prayed together we [sent] the children back home and told them to stay home for a few days, because it's too dangerous to go to school now. We don't know what the future will be.
"The reality is really hard, but we also feel blessed because God is protecting us and giving us what we need. The people that are praying with me are on my mind all the time. When I feel weak, God shows me that I don't have to carry this burden on my own, but that I share it with the people around the world that are praying with me. I am not alone.
"So please, keep praying, we need your prayers so desperately."
*Name changed for security purposes
- For all children affected by the Syrian crisis. Pray for their spiritual, mental and physical health and healing. Pray for all those who remain in Syria, and all those forced to flee. More than 1 million children have now been registered as refugees outside the country.
-Pray for the next generation of Syrians. Many are traumatised and have lost family, schooling and all aspects of a normal childhood. Pray that the children of today will be part of a positive future for Syria.
- Continue to lift up those, like Hanna, who work in Christian communities in Syria. Give thanks for them and pray that their faith and leadership will act as an inspiration to others to stand strong.
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