In a small, aluminum prefab classroom, baking under the relentless summer sun that nurtures the lush vegetable crops for which the nearby Beqaa Valley in Lebanon is famous, hope is being incubated. 40 young Syrian Muslim women, mostly refugees from Aleppo and some of them mothers and widows, are learning to sew. Izdihar Kassis, a local pastor’s wife and a dynamo for Christ’s Kingdom, has run several faith-based non-profits and has now created Together for the Family to address the refugee crisis.Read More
Despite an attempt at peace talks, war rages in Syria. But, the Presbyterian Church is faithfully bringing spiritual, emotional and physical relief to the people. They need our help.
Please CLICK HERE to learn more about the crisis and access resources to help your congregation better understand the situation in Syria. Together, we can help the Church in Syria to help its people.
Or, CLICK HERE to make an immediate donation to the Syria Emergency Appeal.Read More
Located just 20 miles due east of Beirut, the Bekaa Valley stretches for 75 miles and lays claim to the richest agricultural land in the country where wheat, corn, cotton and an array of vegetables flourish. Its vineyards have given rise to a wine industry that is now world renowned. The Bekaa is also now home to over 370,000 of the 1.1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, many of whom have been living in tents in dismal camps for years – and most of them are children. In a country of only four million, the Lebanese public schools are able to accommodate only a fraction of these Syrian refugee children.Read More
Even as Syria remains plagued by war and violence, the Church remains…and with hope and confidence prepares new leaders for its future – for God’s future. Your gifts to the Syria Appeal have helped to provide scholarships for some outstanding young adults who have answered a call to ministry….Read More
The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned….
So begins Isaiah’s poetic, prophetic chapter whose words echo in song and in sermon at this time of the year – and which crescendos to a naming of the when and the what and the Who which Handel set so perfectly to music that now very few of us can read it with our eyes without actually hearing it in our ears:
For unto us a child is born,
unto us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders…
So why, you might ask, does this passage lead me to thoughts of Aleppo? Perhaps, because few places in Syria have been so hard hit for so long, so hammered by violent factions, so deprived of life’s basics, so seemingly stripped of hope and a future – its world-heritage sites decimated, its population significantly reduced…Read More
Wiggly, giggly and mesmerized by the foreign visitors to their classroom in Erbil, Iraq, these precious little four and five year-olds seemed very typical for their age. But they were not. When our small Outreach Foundation team visited them in March, it had been about eight months since they and their families had run for their lives as ISIS marched upon their villages in the Nineveh Plain. 200,000 of these Assyrian Christians fled from their small, once peaceful enclaves: Bartella, Bashiqa, Batnaya, Karamlis. They found haven in safer towns deeper in the Kurdish-controlled areas of Northern Iraq and the big city of Erbil. Their young priests like Father Yacoub, whom you see here, shepherded and encouraged them along the road. And now those young priests, with no resources, work hard to create some sense of normalcy for these traumatized families. They have started a few kindergartens/preschools in which to nurture these tender young lives.Read More
The news coverage of the largely-Middle Eastern refugee crisis unfolding in Europe has brought shocking images into our homes and many want to help. The unsettling reality of this situation is that most of the refugees, primarily Syrian and Iraqi, have not made it out of the Middle East. They have become the humanitarian burden of nearby countries such as Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Egypt.
The situation is compounded when you consider those who have left their homes and have settled in other areas of their homeland (called internally displaced persons or IDPs). By all accounts, there are 3.5 million internally displaced persons in Iraq and 7.6 million IDPs in Syria.
As a result, The Outreach Foundation has chosen...Read More