Bringing a child forward for baptism is always a sacred moment-holy ground-both for the parents and the congregation who, in our Reformed tradition, pledge to assist the family in raising that child to know Christ and to serve him. And there is little Christian Khatouf, pictured above with his two older brothers barely visible behind his mom, awaiting the water, old enough to know what is happening and seemingly “at home” in front of a “full house” in his home church in Nabek, Syria about 50 miles north of Damascus. As Christian looks up at the camera, he is also seeing a “wall of clergy” standing in the chancel, for his baptism had been delayed for just this moment in time – the rededication of his Presbyterian Church home that had been badly damaged by terrorists during the war.
On that Friday, August 10, an impressive delegation of the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon had come: Rev. Jacob Sabbagh (Pastor of Fairouzeh Church), Rev. Hadi Ghantous (Synod Executive of Ecclesial and Spiritual Affairs Committee and Pastor of Minyara Church), Rev. Boutros Zaour (Synod Moderator and Pastor of Damascus Church), Rev. Joseph Kassab (Synod General Secretary) and Rev. Yousef Jabbour (Pastor of Homs Church), as well as local clergy from the Syriac, Melkite and Orthodox communities to celebrate the reopening of the church.