I recently returned from the Middle East, where Food for the Hungry (FH) is serving those fleeing the Syrian civil war.
In Beirut, I shared some strong Lebanese coffee with Pastor Jihad – a man who is ministering, and in fact, sacrificing prayer, time and money to care for his former enemies, the Syrians.
This is how he used to feel about the Syrians:
“Their people killed our people, burned our houses, stole our harvest…They occupied our land for more than 30 years. Our hearts were filled with hatred and enmity…we prayed for God to take our revenge, to destroy their land as they did to our land, to sink their country with blood and tears.”
These former Syrian enemies that Pastor Jihad wrote about are now into their third year of suffering. More than 100,000 people have lost their lives. Around 6 million people have lost their homes, including more than 3 million whom are children.
Considering the demise of his former enemies, Pastor Jihad asked himself, “Shouldn’t we be thrilled?” Syria – his former enemy was in collapse.
But Pastor Jihad is not rejoicing in their demise – rather through the Gospel miracle of forgiveness and peace, he says this today about his former enemies:
“Our hearts are aching for their pain. Our prayers are continuous for their country. Our church is working day and night to help them, to heal their wounds, to wipe their tears and to feed their children. Our love is real and genuine for them. What a paradigm shift! What an amazing grace! What a wonderful Savior and Master we have!”
Please look at the picture of Pastor Jihad and the children he and his church are serving. Please join me in prayer that the Gospel of peace and forgiveness will prevail.
The miracle of forgiveness happened in Pastor Jihad’s heart. It can happen in the hurting hearts of the Syrians – both the aggressors and the aggrieved. Please join FH in helping Syrians who no longer have homes and who are now at the mercy of strangers in foreign countries.