18 Jun Through The Eyes of Men
from Syrian Men
“We are no one in no man’s land.”
“Every time it got unsafe somewhere we used to find another place (within Syria), but we ran out of safe places to go.”
When a missile exploded critically injuring Mohammed, his leg had to be amputated. He was unable to walk, making his family’s escape to another nation much more tenuous and difficult. ”Dying was not an option for me. I had to survive for my two-year-old son.”
“I heard how a M– man that now follows Jesus prayed for my wife, defended her honor and took care of my family. When I heard this, I thought about how I am in Syria killing people in the name of religion, but you love people in the name of Jesus.”
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Whether they are Muslim, Christian or Atheist adherents, refugee men from Syria are feeling the impact of being blown from their homeland by shifting political winds. Most feel reduced, depleted and stripped of their identity. They now have little control over their ability to protect, provide for and make choices that give hope to their family. These proud men feel great shame in being so greatly humbled through no fault of their own. Most sit idle in refugee tents and run-down apartments, unable to find work, grieving and bored. Some have chosen anger and bitterness; others are just confused and desperate; still others – just a few – have used the chaotic circumstances as an opportunity to abandon their family in the refugee camps and begin another life for themselves.
Most men have had to make the toughest choices of their lives. Do we stay, or do we flee – often waiting until the last moment? When they can’t save all their children, which ones do the leave? How do they help their sons escape instead of be taken into the fighting forces? When there’s not enough food, how do they find a good husband for a daughter – often by the age of 12, to relieve some of the financial pressure? To protect their wives and children they often must leave behind their parents, who are too elderly to make the journey. And then, how do they deal with the traumatized family once they arrive in another ‘safe’ place for the moment? Or, do they send their family on when they choose to stay and try to protect their property and fight?
Here’s a window into one man’s soul. He sent his family to safety while he joined the radicals to fight. In a refugee site, his wife encountered Paul in the food distribution line. Paul is a man the Lord has redeemed and raised him up in a Middle Eastern country. He is now in charge of distributing food packages to newly arriving Syrian refugee families. Recently, he gave out the last food package for the month. A poor lady was next in line and started crying when she realized there was none left for her family.
She told Paul that she and her kids were desperate for food and that she had to keep fending off men trying to convince her to have sex in exchange for a little money or food. Paul told her they were out of food packages but offered to pray for her in the name of Jesus. Paul shared how he came to Jesus and prayed for her.
As soon as they finished praying, Paul’s phone rang with a surprise report that there were another 35 food portions. The Syrian mother, full of wonder and gratefulness, praised God for how Jesus answered their prayer, sharing with everyone about Jesus and Paul.
Her husband was still in Syria fighting with an Islamic group. A few weeks later he showed up at Paul’s door. He said, “I heard how a M….. man that now follows Jesus prayed for my wife, defended her honor and took care of my family. When I heard this, I thought about how I am in Syria killing people in the name of religion, but you love people in the name of Jesus. The next 3 days I could not sleep. I kept having dreams of Jesus. I left the other fighters to come here to meet the man who loved my family and to learn about Jesus from you.”
How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”
~ Romans 10.14, 15
1. FIGHTING MEN: Pray for men engaged in all sides of the fight – that like this man whose wife encountered Paul – they too will not be able to sleep as they have dreams of Jesus revealing himself to them. Ask God to call out for Himself 1,000’s of these devoted, but deceived men – and make them his own.
2. CHRISTIAN BACKGROUND MEN: Pray for the Christian refugee men – as well as those still in Syria. They are being specifically targeted, persecuted and killed. Many are asking us to pray that they can stay faithful to Christ until the end. They bear the same burdens for their families and yet often have to make the ultimate choice in following the cross. Let’s ask God to give them great wisdom as they lead and encourage their families in the midst of great trials. Ask that God would meet their basic needs for food, water and shelter — sustain them spiritually, and give supernatural boldness and courage. Ask that their testimonies in persecution and death would bring holy shame to all who bring harm to them and that the Holy Spirit would bring conviction and the gift of salvation will become theirs too.
3. M*SL*M BACKGROUND BELIEVERS: Would you make it possible, Lord, for these men that now follow you, to be quickly trained and sent to share the J message with their fellow refugees, start churches and train others.
4. MUSLIM MEN: Ask God to take what the evil one has meant for harm – and turn it into great good for the people in Syria and the region. Also, ask that He provide basic necessities of food, water and shelter in ways that the spiritual scales would fall from the eyes of these men’s hearts – and they will come to honor the Living God.
Incredible Pictures: Syrians Crash Through a Fence Between War and Refuge
BBC News 360 6-15-15
Thousands Of Syrian Refugees Pour Into Turkey As Kurds Advance On ISIS Stronghold
The World Post 6-13-15
Quick facts: What you need to know about the Syria crisis
Syrian Father Hopes for Marriage and a Better Life for His Girls
NBC News, January 13, 2013
Grief-stricken Syrian father struggles to keep going
IMB website, June 12, 2013 Report by Joseph Rose
Handicap International video and Facebook site / March 24, 2015
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