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Great work is being done at the 15 Centers of Hope that are run by churches in various gathering spaces in communities across Syria. These centers serve as an extension of the church to reach out to people and gather them into a more closely-knit community. Here, “… Christians could feel like they’re more of a family,” says Ibrahim*, an Open Doors staff member.
Besides the usual food donations and house visits, these centers touch on issues that are “customized towards the needs of the congregation,” explains pastor Edmund, another Open Doors’ staff.
One example of programming to help support children who have been traumatized by war is the opportunity to get outdoors and engage in sports and teamwork. The Centers of Hope of Damascus’s and Aleppo’s Alliance churches have highly successful football programs. “We try to include as many church backgrounds in the program,” says Vera, “and the kids are loving it!”
The struggle of the war put a strain on people when it came to staying active, socializing, and receiving quality health care. This is especially true for women who couldn’t leave their homes as often as men and often set aside their wellbeing in order to take care of their families. These struggles were addressed in the first of many medical-awareness lectures that took place at the opening night of a Center of Hope in Damascus.
Please join us in thanking God that the Centers of Hope are helping bring life back to weary Christians across Syria.
Praise God He is using these programs to bring healing to men, women, children and families in these communities.
Pray that this work would continue strong.
*Representative names and photos are sometimes used to protect identity.