WEA has recently received this message from a friend in Syria: the e-mail starts by quoting Philippians 4 verses 4-7:
The Word of God is our strength to serve the Lord in this New Year. It is our desire to help those who have joined with us and focus on His work through everything that had happened and is unfolding. We have so much that we can be anxious and stressed about but our goal is to help many leaders in Syria partnering with us in living out Philippians 4:4. Please pray with us that this scripture will be the theme for many Syrian leaders for 2013.
Christian around Syria spent Christmas gathering to pray for peace in the country, while missiles and severe fighting were going around. Sadness surrounded the Christian area, many did not put up a Christmas tree or decorate, in respect for those who have lost loved ones. Instead they brought the true spirit of Christmas with the message of hope into the life of many who had never heard it. Many people from both Christian and Muslim backgrounds have given their lives to Christ after the Christmas prayer service
The fighting in Damascus has increased and it’s very tense. Missiles are falling on our houses; it’s not anymore 2 armies fighting each other, instead, they are targeting everything that gets in their way. People from our church have had their houses hit by missiles but thanks the Lord many were not present in their homes. Some just left their home before the missile fell. A group like Al-Qaida are targeting Christians and asking them by force to convert to Islam.
A pastor up in the north of Syria was kidnapped and putting a lot of pressure on him to deny Jesus. This pastor refused to deny Jesus “go ahead and kill me because I will never deny Christ.” The pastor said, “I was silent for days, but when it came to denying Jesus God gave me strength to speak.” Then they blindfolded him and told him to run as far as he can - as he was running they begin to shoot at him. He said, “I was not hit by any of the bullets.”
We will not fear Death or worry about what’s coming next, neither will we let our problems or personal struggles cause us to deny or doubt Christ. Please pray for those who have to be strong in the midst of affliction.