A Message From a Pastor in Syria
Pastor Boutros has been leading a church in Syria, and with your help, he and his church community have supported over 4,000 displaced families. Before the war, he had a church of 25 people. It has grown to over 200, and about 90% are new Christians, many from a Muslim background.
Pastor Boutros told us the story of a sister from the church that remained in war-torn parts of Syria.
“She was used to taking risks.” He said. “She was taking food supplies and food items to people who were living in this area controlled by rebels. One time they tried to force themselves into her house. She stood behind the door and she was able to stop them because she was protecting a number of women in her house.
They told her: ‘Aren’t you scared that we come and slaughter you?’ She answered: ‘No, I am not afraid because I have the mighty God with me and he is protecting me.’
“She told me: ‘I don’t remember what happened in that moment. Maybe they did not understand what I meant. Or maybe the angel of God was standing behind me and he did to them the same as with Lot in the Old Testament.’
“After a while these same people came to her house, not to threaten her but to invite her, saying that the head of their group wanted to listen to her, he wanted to hear her story. This man was responsible for the entire area there.
“When she went to visit him, he was surprised to see how a woman would be standing there not shaking. He said: ‘Usually when men come to me, they will be shaking. I want to know, who is behind you? Who is the source of your strength? Which country is helping you?’
“She replied: ‘Do you really want to hear who is behind me? Would you give to me the right to share everything?’
“While the men were pointing guns at her, she shared with them about Jesus Christ who was strengthening her and who is the Lord of peace and the Lord of courage. She spoke for 25 minutes. They did not interrupt her and were listening attentively. At the end, the leader was crying. After that meeting, he disappeared; we don’t know what happened to him. But we know that God took him out of this place.”
Image: Repairs being made to a Church in Syria, as people begin to rebuild.
The Syrian Crisis Changed Pastor Boutros’ Church
“It is as if we’re living in the times of the book of Acts.” Pastor Boutros said. “Before the war we were praying that God would do something great in our midst. But we didn’t expect war and so many displaced. We weren’t ready and we didn’t have the experience or the resources to help them.”
“We got another perspective—we discovered that all people are in need of God. We as a church are not isolating ourselves anymore. We are taking the lead, we take our place in society. The war widened our vision.”
Image: A interdenominational prayer meeting for their city held last year in Aleppo, Syria.
On 5 November, Open Doors is asking groups and churches across the world to unite in prayer for the persecuted church. We want to see God strengthen His church in the most dangerous countries on the planet. We want to see the persecuted supported, to see Muslims discover Jesus, and to see nations transformed inside out through the work of His church.