My first four days on this February Syria trip was accompanying a group of six folks from a Presbyterian Church, Bryn Mawr, near Philadelphia.
These trips are really important.
This is a church that has been very involved in meeting human need around the world. They’ve given significant financial gifts to the churches here, but they’re not leaving it at that.
They’re choosing to engage personally, as well.
Over these four days, we meet with churches and ministries in Tripoli and Minara (Lebanon) who are doing vital ministry to Syrian refugees by setting up schools designed for children who are attending school for the first time.
Once in Syria, our Team got to experience how families have been living through the war—electricity shut-offs every two hours, freezing bedrooms due to fuel shortages.
We got to hear their stories at large group gatherings and home visits.
While in the city of Lattakia, we spent time with the Presbyterian Church.
And with the young people.
Most of these young people were students at the University—lots of doctors and educators. We listened to the challenges of getting to classes during a fuel shortage (one student walks four hours each day) and weeks without hot water;
There are many differences of opinion on the war.
One young person moved here from Aleppo just a few moths ago
Another is a US citizen, but chooses to remain in Syria and be part of the future here.
Afterwards, a remarkable thing happened:
A relationship beginning.