Delighted to be in Their Presence

by Marilyn Borst

 Rob Weingartner with Rev. Firas Farah of Qamishli and Rev. Ma'an Bitar of Mhardeh

Rob Weingartner with Rev. Firas Farah of Qamishli and Rev. Ma'an Bitar of Mhardeh

We have often heard it said that “You are known by the company you keep.” Come to find out, Proverbs 13:20 has a more pointed version: “He that walks with wise men shall be wise; but a companion of fools will be destroyed.”

 Ryan Moore with Rev. Salam Hanna and candidate-for-ministry Elias Jabbour of Latakia

Ryan Moore with Rev. Salam Hanna and candidate-for-ministry Elias Jabbour of Latakia

I just returned from several weeks in Lebanon and Syria, a highlight of which was the time spent with the handful of Presbyterian pastors from Syria who have remained after five years of war to lead their congregations (sometimes, several congregations) during these very, very difficult times. Some of The Outreach Foundation team who had come with me had met one or two of them before, but all of us were drawn to be with them as much as we could and delighted to be in their presence. Their stories of faith and faithfulness, of danger and hope, of fear and promise, of destruction and new beginnings (however small) were compelling reminders of Christ’s promise, “and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” From those precious hours spent with these brave servant-leaders we all emerged changed: humbled…inspired…encouraged…wiser. 

 Steve and Julie Burgess with Rev. Ibrahim Nseir of Aleppo

Steve and Julie Burgess with Rev. Ibrahim Nseir of Aleppo

May our presence to those who God brings across our paths – in our everyday lives – find themselves changed by their encounters with us….even a tiny bit…because they have seen Christ is us, as we saw Christ, so clearly in those pastors.

 The author with Rev. Mofid Karajili of Homs

The author with Rev. Mofid Karajili of Homs

Marilyn Borst
Associate Director for Partnership Development

 

The Outreach Foundation