Hope for Syrian Students - June 2017 Update
Syria and Lebanon
This project was formerly known as “Schools for Syrian Refugees in Lebanon.”
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Who didn’t grow up singing “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world: red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.”?
I am reminded of Jesus’ unswerving love for children every time I visit the Middle East. I am moved by the realities of life for Syrian children and young people, be they refugees now living in Lebanon or Syrian children and young people in our Presbyterian churches who remain in their own country, even in the midst of war. What they all have in common is a need – a thirst – for education.
Many of you, both churches and individuals, have given generously to support the five special refugee schools which serve close to 400 children. Run by the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, the schools address the needs of refugees in Lebanon who have come across the border from Syria. Many of these little ones had never been to school, having left Syria before they were of school age. I visit one or more of these schools (in Tyre, Minyara, Kab Elias, Rayak and Tripoli) every time I am there. The photos of the little ones on this page were taken in April when I visited Tripoli. Some of your funds have also been used to provide scholarships for some of the 100 Syrian students whose educational backgrounds had prepared them well enough to enter one of the synod’s five “regular” schools but needed scholarship assistance. Most of these Syrian refugee children are not Christians but have now encountered our Light and our Hope in both powerful and pragmatic ways because they are in these schools.
Our trusted Presbyterian partner, the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, has asked us to expand the scope of this project to include Presbyterian children and young people who are still in Syria and need some assistance with their education. Although education – even at the university level – is free in Syria, there are still costs to families for things like supplies and transportation. This is especially true for young people who have been accepted into a university which is in a different city – their families need to pay for room and board for their child. With crippling inflation and severely diminished paychecks because of the war, this has become an enormous burden for once-self-supporting middle class families. The good news is that there are many of these faithful young people committed to staying in Syria and preparing to serve their communities as dentists and teachers and engineers, while also remaining to lead and serve in their home congregations. The Outreach Foundation, with your continued support, is excited to be a part of all these efforts to “train up a child!”
Joyfully and with gratitude,
Associate Director for Partnership Development
Read more about Hope for Syrian Students by clicking HERE.
Outreach is seeking gifts totaling $50,000 to help educate Syrian children and young people, be they refugees in Lebanon or those who remain in war but are preparing for God’s future in their own land.