The memory of pain and the signs of hope: NESSL update, March 2016

Dear friends and great partners,

Greetings to you in the Name of the crucified but risen Christ.

March 2016, is the season of Lent when the church remember the suffering and the cross of its Lord. But also the season that bring the church to celebrate the victory of Chris over suffering and death, and see the great Light of the Resurrection of Christ that gave it the hope of Life.

March 2016 marks the six anniversary of the tragedy in Syria that caused death and destruction and immense suffering for millions of innocent people. Indeed all Syrians need to see the Light of the Resurrection and cry for it.

However, there are signs of hope in the horizon, not the least is the is the stop of acts of violence even though temporarily. Other signs such as the USA and Russia seemingly in agreement, talks in Geneva about to start, reconciliations in some part of Syria taking place, relief material of food and medicine are entering areas in great need, some displaced going back to their even destroyed homes,.........

O God of hope make the season of suffering come to an end! God of peace make your peace and reconciliation prevail in Syria and the world! O Risen Christ breath your spirit in all hearts so all will be messengers of peace!

March also brought partners and friends to visit the church in Lebanon (UCC/Disciples) all the way from the USA to show solidarity and give encouragement and assure partnership in our ministry. Also brought friends and partners (Uniting Church in Sweden) all the way from the far North visited the church both in Lebanon and all the way to Syria not fearing the possible danger on the way. All our friends are the sings of hope for our church.

Indeed the church in Syria and Lebanon is not abandoned and not alone in its struggle fo respond to the needy. We praise you God for all our friend and partners who uplift us in our times of crises! Our greatest Sign of hope is found in the faces of over one hundred children from the refugee camps who are now enjoying a normal schooling after being denied this basic right for the last five years. We are looking forward to be able to enjoy more hundreds of those faces in the soon future.

Please continue your prayers and support so that those children will experience life in its fullness! Thanks to all of you who made it possible to bring so many smiles!

In Christ,
Mary Mikhael*

*Dr. Mikhael is a staffperson for the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, the immediate past president of the Near East School of Theology, and a former member of the Common Global Ministries Board of Directors.

The United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) continue to offer support for the work of many partners in the region to provide humanitarian response to the needs of Syrian refugees.  Please consider supporting the work of Global Ministries' partners' relief efforts in and around Syria.  You can do that through One Great Hour of Sharing (UCC), the Week of Compassion (Disciples), or through Global Ministries directly.


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