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DEVOTION – November 2013

A Syrian Church Newsletter from October 2013

Jeremiah 29:11-14
“…For i know the plans i have for you, (Christians in Syria)” declares the lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and i will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the lord, “and will bring you back from captivity or will restore your fortunes. I will gather you from all the nations and places where i have banished you,” declares the lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Damascus November 4, 2013

Greetings in the Name of our Lord, whose Name is above all.

As Christians in the Baptist church in Damascus and as a family, we count the Lords blessings and we name them one by one, as we teach the Sunday school kids: We can go to school, by bus. We don’t have to walk half an hour with heavy backpacks, the school bus is coming, Praise the Lord. Also the music institute has opened a new branch twenty minutes from home. It is great that we will enjoy listening to music this winter, we are very lucky. Our beloved and caring husband and dad is still going to his work although many have lost their jobs. Not to mention how many times the Lord has protected us from missile fragments.
In the last week we had the first rainy-day this season since last winter; it shows us that the Lord cares for His creation.

Concerning the news in my church last week was not so good; we needed the Lord to encourage us. Everyone was so worried, when we heard the news about attacking Christian villages by fundamentalist. More than fifty people were killed and many are now displaced in Damascus. This made everyone sad to lose some relatives and at the same time afraid.
The good news is that we still have 10 visits a week to displaced people, so that we introduce Christ to them, and then disciple them and invite them to church. The Lord is good and we trust his good plans to us. The six services in church are keeping us alive and active.

On October 10th 2013 thirteen of the sisters and brothers in my church get baptized. Including my daughter. I pray that she will be a faithful servant to the Lord. The baptism ceremony was like a feast to all of us, it was the first time we use the new baptism basin, after the old one has broken five years ago and we waited until the Lord provided us with the new one.

This month was not an ordinary month it was a scary movie in some days. Everyday missiles land in the neighborhood and people get injured.

On Sat 19th October we cancelled Sunday school at the last moment because the roads were totally blocked by missiles,

On Sunday 20th the lord was good to us and 3 mini buses came to Sunday evening service.
On Tuesday 22nd we could not reach some sisters in one part of the city so only sisters from the area near my house could come. But we were more than 40 and we studied Micah 7:1-7. Probably all of the sisters felt like the prophet as a dried grape, I feltdisappointed like him, his efforts has gone for naught. That is what happens sometimes with us as we serve the Lord.

I was disappointed by sad and tragic accidents: we have been praying for a sister’s son for about six months, to find out that he has been dead two months ago, and they couldn’t even take his body, and the church is now praying for the family. She blamed the Lord for that. She was worried if her son is in heaven or not. Poor mother and poor dad. We are visiting them and praying with them, encouraging them that as believers the Lord walks with us when we have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death. It is so sad the way he died, that she wished he died from cancer or car accident, or even a missile! Now we are praying for another mom she doesn’t know where is her son yet, let us pray that he is still alive and he will be released and get to know the Lord as his own Savior,

A dear sister from Iraq has left to Iraq with her 2 daughters and her son and his family. She was not disappointed to be displaced first from her home country in Iraq, because she got to know Christ here in Syria in our church So she counts her leaving Iraq as a profit to all of them, but the sad thing now is that she didn’t feel safe here, so she left to go back. Since they came in 2010 the whole family got to know the Lord in our church and we were as a family for them.

On Tuesday 24th the young adults came to my neighbor’s house in my building instead of going to church, that was to make a shorter and safer trip.

On Friday 25th many men came to the Brothers service, and each family took a bag of blessing. It is good that we insisted that men should come so they have the opportunity to know the word of God. Some has accepted the Lord.

During these troubled times mostly the ladies are coming to churches, that is why we have ladies more than men in our meetings, probably that will be the case in heaven more sisters than brothers but we don’t know.

Saturday 26th we had Sunday school with 3 buses and 60 kids. Praise the Lord.
We pray that the Good Samaritan Purse will remember our children and send some shoe boxes to us (we will pick them up from Lebanon).
On Sunday 27th many came and Brother Moses talked about how to be a palm tree and a fresh water spring.
Tuesday 29th the sisters meeting was a blessing, only 2 mini buses came since elementary students have now the mid-term exams. We were encouraged by Micah 7:7-13 that:

I. The Pilgrimage of faith is an imperfect one.
II. The pilgrimage of faith is a troublesome one. ”Probably it is risky and deadly here”
III. The pilgrimage of faith is a trusting one.

IV. The pilgrimage of faith is a hopeful one. (The Lord is preparing a good place for those who awaits for Him)
All we have to do is to “trust and obey, No other way”.

On Saturday 2nd of November we were thrilled to have 70 kids in Sunday school, we had new one coming. The roads were blocked so one of the buses took 2 hours until the kids were at church, and usually this takes 30 minutes. The kids arrived tired, hungry and thirsty. Everyone was exited to share in the Christmas play and practice the traditional Christmas Carols.
On Sunday 3d of October we had the Lord’s Supper for the believers, and then the church was full, no more spaces although the streets were unlighted, a bit scary.
May the Lord blesses you and shines His face upon you and your beloved ones.

Yours in Christ

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