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A Syrian Family in Lebanon

Syria
Flag of Syria

The following letter is from a Christian worker in Lebanon who helps Syrian refugees.

“One morning I went out distributing food for Syrian refugees who have escaped Syria to find refuge in Lebanon. As I was walking and praying, I met a boy. The boy said that he and his family are from Homs, Syria. When I asked him if I could visit them, he was hesitant. I gave him my phone number and some food. His father did call that afternoon, thanked me for the food and invited us to his house.

“The following day my wife and I went to his house and met the man’s family. They have three children. They turned out to be a Christian-background family who escaped the fighting and possible persecution in their village. The man had been memorizing verses from the Bible for the past 10 years and was still doing this, but he did not know Jesus personally.

“From our first visit, they invited us to read the Scriptures together. Although they grew up going to church, they had never experienced salvation in Christ. As we read the Bible passages about following Jesus, they were ready to receive Christ. They all gave their lives to Jesus at the end of the meeting. Salvation has come to the entire household!

“The man told us that he has been praying for a long time that God would send him believers in Christ who could share and explain the Scriptures to them. He then said God had answered his prayers and now he is ready to open his house for study of God’s Word for his entire family. What a joy it was for us to hear this! We started visiting them every Saturday evening for a time of prayer, discussion and Bible study.”

Note: One of the family’s relatives, Darius, was saved in their home! A few days later while Darius was visiting his hometown in Syria, he was killed by Muslims. God is comforting and strengthening his relatives and other Syrian Christians.


Snack and Share

Baklava

Baklava is a treat enjoyed by children in many countries, including Iran. Try the recipe below. Can you share the treat with a Sunday school class or group and tell them about Christians in Iran? Read the post Iranian Date Snack to learn how to make another Iranian snack.

Persian Baklava
Syrup Ingredients:
3 cups sugar
1½ cups water
2 tbsp. lemon juice

Filling Ingredients
4 cups chopped almonds
¼ cup sugar
¼ tsp. cardamom

Additional Ingredients
1 box phyllo dough (24 sheets)
1 stick melted butter

Instructions

  1. Make the syrup first so it can cool. Over low heat, stir together the sugar, water, and lemon juice until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium, and cook without stirring about 5 more minutes until the mixture is a little syrupy.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir together the filling ingredients.
  3. Follow the instructions on the phyllo dough box about working with the dough. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13-inch-by-9-inch baking pan. Put one sheet of phyllo in the pan and brush lightly with melted butter. Repeat with five to seven more phyllo sheets. Spread half the filling on top of the stack. Repeat the process with six to eight more sheets and the rest of the filling. Top with six to eight more buttered sheets.
  4. Use a sharp knife to cut six lengthwise strips through the top six to eight sheets of phyllo. The strips will be about 1¾ inches apart. Then cut 1½-inch diagonal strips across the lengthwise strips.
  5. Sprinkle the top sheet with cold water. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300 degrees, and bake about 15 more minutes until golden brown.
  6. Cut through the lengthwise and diagonal lines all the way to the bottom of the baklava. Pour the cooled syrup over the hot baklava and let it cool for at least 4 hours before cutting into the squares and serving.

Image credit: Kultigin/Wikipedia


Ask a VOM Worker: Countries, Part 2

VOM

Question: Which countries need prayer the most?

Answer from a VOM worker who deals with the Middle East: I think my heart goes out the most to Saudi Arabia. It’s very closed and secretive. There are few believers, and those who are there have to be very secretive. They cannot talk about who they are or where they are. I also feel the need to pray for Yemen, Bahrain, and Syria. They have had unrest, but there is also a great openness among the people to the gospel.


Syria

Syria

Syria

RESTRICTED

Capital
Damascus

Size
Slightly larger than North Dakota.

Main Languages
Arabic

Time
At 6:00 a.m. U.S. Central Standard Time, it is 2:00 p.m. in Syria.

History
The capital city of Syria is the biblical city of Damascus. Syria became independent from France in 1946. In 2011, some Syrians held public protests against the leaders of the country.Government soldiers fought to stop the protests. More people joined in the fighting, some for the government and some for the protestors. The fight turned into a war.

Religion
Mostly Muslim.

Persecution
It is against the law for a Muslim to become a Christian.Christians are targets of the radical Muslims. Christian villages have been overrun, churches destroyed, and believers abused or driven out.