Mary and I just returned from a lovely nighttime stroll through the neighborhood here in Beirut. As we recounted a few stories from the week, it is clear to us that God had a plan for our time here in Syria. Mark Henderson had a vision of these counseling tools going out into the world and bringing healing to the nations. It is so humbling for us to have this opportunity to bring these much-needed Biblical principles and tools to this tiny church in the ancient Syrian city of Damascus.
These Syrian church leaders came ready to learn. The material was new and some even challenging for them to process. We had wonderful, lively discussions as we unpacked God’s truths together. We wrapped up the 4-days of teaching and practicing forgiveness this evening, and we asked each student to share something important they had learned this week. Here are a few of the comments the Syrian believers shared.
“I forgave a friend who betrayed me, but still felt stuck and couldn’t get past the hurt. I learned I trust that I truly did forgive. But God showed me another part of the situation I still needed to forgive. Now I am truly free.”
“I was shocked to learn about ‘false forgiveness.’ It helped me understand how to help some people in my church who have never practiced true forgiveness.”
“God already showed me how to practice many of these principles in my own life, but you helped solidify these concepts in my mind and showed me a way how I can teach them to other hurting people.”
These church leaders are excited to go back to their own city, review the materials, and share them with their church, their community, and other Syrian churches. Mark’s vision is coming true. It is shocking to us that God has passed these tools directly into a desperately needy country as inaccessible as Syria.
We are so thankful for the time we have already spent here. For the next two days, we will be teaching about helping individuals who are suffering from trauma. The Syrian people have truly been traumatized by 7 years of war. The war is over, but many scars remain—both physical and emotional. The concepts we teach around trauma are complex and are built upon many principles that are totally new to people. We do not really know what we can accomplish in the few hours we have to talk about it.
Please pray with us:
- God will guide us as we lead these discussions on trauma. We need wisdom to give information that the Syrian believers and aid workers can use as helpful tools.
- God will bring healing as we meet with several people in the next couple of days in one-on-one sessions.
- Thank God with us for the work he has already done.
We write this to you so that you can celebrate with us how your prayers and dollars are building the kingdom of Christ around the world. Thank you for standing with us in this important work.