Just like many other countries, Syria enacted lockdown measures when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Restrictions on gatherings made things difficult for our local partners, who usually host large church gatherings and need to meet with people in order to distribute Bags of Blessings (bags with essential food and non-food items).
Still, they adapted to make it work, including holding bible studies over Zoom and meeting in small groups to share God’s word, as well as distributing Bags of Blessings and cleaning supplies to families door-to-door.
Bags of Blessings have been much-needed since the country’s economic crisis has left many families impoverished. With inflation, the cost of even the most basic food items have become unaffordable for many families. To make sure that people are still getting these essential food and non-food items during the pandemic, our partners made personal door-to-door visits to families, providing them with Bags. This act of kindness, along with intentional love and care, has helped many families make a decision to follow Jesus, and many are now in discipleship groups.
Our partners also distributed Bags of Blessings and Clean Bags (with cleaning products), as well as blankets and bed sheets for the winter, at a local church, taking advantage of the church’s big parking space to ensure proper distancing.
The pastor of the church thanked our partners, saying, “I am very thankful for the help you are granting to our church. These [Bags] are becoming a very good support for their needs, knowing that all the materials (food, detergent, clothes) are very expensive due to the sanction over Syria, and the inflation of the currency (our Lira). For that reason, there is a strong need for our people in Syria in general to be supported and to grant them to and thanks to God for the generous relief program you are doing. This ‘love in action’ is the core of Christianity and the message of real love, which is translated to caring [for] and helping [each other]. And I see through this holy program a strong and good testimony for our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Nadia, who received a Bag at the distribution, wrote a thank you letter, sharing her appreciation: “Thank you and we appreciated so much because you were next [to] us during all these crises and you didn’t leave us at all. You were good support for us by sending food, detergent, blankets, etc. Thank you. Because of you, I understand what it means by Christian family and the church… We learned from you to search in deep in bible and love others from our heart and [care for] and help people like us.”
In the last three months, our partners have been able to reach 300 families, helping 123 make a life-changing decision to become a follower of Jesus, and leading 13 follow up groups.