Just as there are two sides to a coin, there are also two sides to a war. As much as the war has driven people out of the country, it has also driven thousands of non-believers to Christ. The churches are filled with people.” – Mina Awny, Presenter of Family of Jesus
Hundreds of children recently gathered in the Syrian cities of Bloudan, Tartus, and Al-Suwayda to meet Mina Awny and a SAT-7 production team for Family of Jesus. Lonely children are finding spiritual and emotional comfort and learning biblical values in the program.
In Bloudan, the production team met 200 children, many of whom had fled their decimated hometown of Al-Zabadani. The children’s families had taken shelter in vacant holiday homes. In the dead of winter, families survived a 20-day siege by rebels without gas for heating or cooking, sharing what little fruits and vegetables were left over in their gardens. Residents flocked to local churches, filling the pews.
In Al-Suwayda, Mina says of the 300 children they met, “The children are so thirsty and hungry for the Word of God. The churches now are full of non-Christians learning about Christ and worshiping Him. Many of them come to church on their own without even being invited.”
Responding to the children’s thirst for the Word of God, they taught the children to accept Jesus just as Zaccheus had accepted Jesus in his home. They also taught the miracle of Jesus calming the storm, to stress the fact that Jesus is in control despite everything happening in Syria. The SAT-7 team carried an important message from Isaiah 61:1-2,
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn.”
What’s next for these families remaining in Syria? Just last month, the city of Al-Suwayda was struck by explosions and is still surrounded by rebels. In the midst of the worst kind of wartime experience, families including children are seeking support, safety, and solace in the church. SAT-7 reinforces the local church with its on air, accessible Christian teaching, prayer, and encouragement.
As Mina reports of the families,
They are continuing their lives despite everything. They face death but aren’t afraid. No one will ever feel their pain except those who visit them and talk to them firsthand. Jesus wants to give them joy.”