Over coffee in a Starbucks in Georgetown, Pastor George (real name withheld for security reasons) shared about his experience serving in Damascus, Syria with Pastor Ed Grudier. He became the pastor of a church in Damascus in 2008 and the church had four believers. In 2011, before the civil war in Syria began, the church had grown to 120 people.
When the war broke out, everything began to change. People from all over the country fled to Damascus for safety. The church was active in reaching out to these Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs). showing and proclaiming the good news of the gospel. As of 2020, the church is 1,200 strong. But countless more have been reached with the gospel. There is constant turnover, with people returning to their hometowns when peace arises, and some continuing their journey away from danger by fleeing to the neighboring countries of Lebanon or Jordan. As these people leave, new IDPs arrive and the cycle of evangelism, discipleship, and sending out continues.
Only God truly knows how many Syrians in Damascus, other parts of Syria, and refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Greece, and other countries, have come to faith as a result of the turmoil and suffering of nine years of civil war.
Let’s continue to pray and to join God in the great work He is doing among Syrians through our continued Focus for Four efforts.
“As many as had been appointed to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was being spread through the whole region” (Acts 13:48–49).