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News : Syrian Arab Republic

Refugee crisis and unanswered prayers…

Refugee crisis and unanswered prayers… – 8 Sep 2015

Did you ever pray about something but the situation just got worse?

When the little body of Alan Kurdi was washed up on a Turkish beach this month it felt like all our prayers for the Middle East crisis were returning to us unanswered. We have watched the Syrian crisis go from bad to worse since we first raised the alarm in March 2013 calling on Tearfund supporters to pray and give to our crisis appeal that was providing blankets, emergency lights and kitchen utensils to those who had fled.

Then we marked the grim milestones; 2 million refugees in August 2013, 3 million in late 2014….

The U.N. predicts that there could be 4.27 million Syrian refugees by the end of this year.

Little Alan Kurdi represents all those who are innocent in the Syrian crisis. But innocence is also under fire in other fragile states such as the Central African Republic and South Sudan. Our work on the ground in fragile states continues, even under fire, to reach out to those in greatest need because it is led by local church partners. The local church is there before the crisis reaches international media attention and the local church will be there when media attention has moved somewhere else.

We are asking you now to please stand with us again, to be persistent in your prayer and to not give up, even in what seems like the bleakest of circumstances. ‘We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.’ Oswald Chambers

Please help us in our ongoing work to support and empower the local church to be salt and light in some of the darkest situations in the world.

I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Matthew 16:18

Please give whatever you can and consider giving a regular gift to the ongoing work of Tearfund Ireland.

Dóchas, the association of Irish NGO’s, of which Tearfund Ireland is the current Chair, has issued a joint letter to the Irish Government calling for immediate action on the refugee crisis.
Click here to read the full letter.

Click here to download a prayer power point that can be used by churches, groups or individuals.

Freezing temperatures, refugee camps and the Winter Crisis

Freezing temperatures, refugee camps and the Winter Crisis – 3 Feb 2015

‘But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction.’ Job 36:15 (NIV)

As bitter cold sets in across refugee camps in the Middle East temperatures are unimaginably low. Refugee tents can protect from the conflict but they cannot keep out freezing temperatures. People are faced with harrowing situations in both Iraq and Syria.

As a relatively small organisation we are able to respond rapidly to emergencies, and because we work with churches on the ground we can deliver the love and care needed quickly and effectively.We always seek to reach the most vulnerable people,so that every cent you donate makes the biggest possible difference.

The incredible suffering in Iraq can make you feel helpless. Horrific violence has killed nearly 10,000 people and caused almost 2 million to run for their lives. For someone who has lost what matters most– their parent, child or friend and home – hope couldn’t feel further away.Yet that is exactly what Tearfund can bring in Jesus’ name.

Right now our team is working tirelessly, providing essential aid to thousands of vulnerable Iraqis. But as religious and ethnic minorities continue to face unspeakable brutality, our resources are being stretched to the limit – and with winter biting hard your gifts and prayers are vital. Night-time temperatures in Iraq and Syria are unimaginably cold at the moment.

  • In Iraq atrocities are happening daily. We must follow Jesus’ call to bring tangible support that will ease the suffering. Thanks to your support we have provided over 6,500 displaced Iraqis with items such as clothing, kitchen kits, food and hygiene supplies. But more are desperately needed.
  • The conflict in Syria has entered its fourth year and there is no end in sight to the misery for Syrians. 3 million people have fled to neighbouring lands and 6.5 million people are displaced within Syria itself. An estimated 5,000 people are being killed each month. Tearfund is providing over 8,280 people with food parcels each month.
  • At the same, with West Africa’s deadly Ebola outbreak our resources are being stretched as never before. More than 8,200 people have already died. Tearfund has begun providing food, hygiene parcels and life saving awareness training. But much more is needed.

But never think that you cannot make a difference; every gift is a lifeline to the most vulnerable and every prayer is heard.

Your donation can save a life in Iraq and Syria but also further afield, as we work to prevent the pain and suffering caused by disease, hunger, trafficking, conflict and grinding poverty. With your help we, along with our church partners on the ground can help the most vulnerable children and their families escape the desperate situations they face.

€23 can buy a set of warm winter clothes for three Iraqi children
€46 can provide one family forced to flee with a month’s essential food and hygiene supplies
€117 can provide a stove, fuel and an emergency kitchen kit to a displaced family in Iraq
€140 can cover a month’s rent for a refugee family, providing a roof over their heads this winter
€187 could pay for three children who have been trafficked to be rescued with the help of local police and given safe shelter, counselling and support to begin to heal

Please join with us to bring hope where the need is greatest.
Please click here to donate to our work.

For an up to date prayer bulletin please click here.



Aged just 12, Mirah* already knows more about the horrors of war than many of us will in a lifetime.

Growing up in the city of Homs in western Syria, she attended school and played with her two brothers.

However, as the conflict escalated Mirah’s childhood changed beyond recognition. Her brothers were forced to flee the country after being arrested and tortured. Soon after this, her family home was bombed during a night of attacks on the city.

Mirah was separated from her parents and helped across the mountains into Lebanon by some of the other survivors. She was sure she had lost her mother and father forever.

Amazingly, sometime later Mirah was reunited with her parents in a camp in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. Tearfund partner Heart for Lebanon is now providing them with monthly food and hygiene packages, along with supportive follow-up visits.

Mirah’s family is very grateful for this support, which is helping them survive the harsh winter. But it isn’t a long-term solution.

With the conflict in Syria still raging, families like Mirah’s are hoping that the upcoming Geneva II peace talks will signal the start of a positive change.

  • Give thanks that the peace talks are still on track for 22 January. Pray that all parties will attend and ask God to help those present to find a workable solution to the conflict.
  • Pray for those in Syria affected by the worsening fighting as parties try to gain ground ahead of the talks.
  • Pray for refugees and displaced people like Mirah as they face the additional hardships of a cold winter.

More church and individual prayer resources for Syria Peace Talks.

*Name has been changed to protect identity.

Photo above: Lebanon camp, photographer: Eleanor Bentall / Tearfund

Providing Lifeline for Syrian Refugees

Providing Lifeline for Syrian Refugees – 7 Jan 2014

Eight months ago, Ziyad (43) was working as a nurse in the Syrian city of Dara’a which is on the frontline of his country’s civil war.

Each day he saw injured civilians and fighters being brought to the hospital where he worked and each day he faced the challenge of treating people when there weren’t enough medical supplies to go round.

As the security position in Dara’a deteriorated and threats started to be made against him, Ziyad took his family and fled across the nearby border to Jordan.

Unlike many, they have a proper roof over their heads as they’re living in a two-room apartment but life in general, and paying the rent in particular, is a constant struggle.

A Tearfund partner is supplying Ziyad and his family with the only aid they have received – mattresses, blankets and food.

Thanks to generous support for Tearfund’s Syria appeal, Ziyad’s family has received three distributions of household items and the aid is proving invaluable when there is no other help on offer.

When asked how he deals with his family’s troubles caused by the conflict, Ziyad simply replied: ‘I have to stay strong for my family.’

But he is praying too, praying that peace will return to Syria and he is hoping that the Geneva peace talks between the two warring sides that are scheduled for January will be successful.

Tearfund is working with partners in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan bringing life-sustaining aid in the form of:

  • food
  • hygiene kits
  • blankets
  • mattresses
  • warm clothing
  • stoves
  • help to pay for accommodation
  • psycho-social support for traumatised children

The UN estimates three-quarters of Syria’s population of 22 million people will require humanitarian aid in 2014.

Syria’s civil war has claimed more than 100,000 lives, displaced 6.5 million people within the country and led to 2.2 million becoming refugees in neighbouring countries such as Lebanon and Turkey, half of them being children.

Please give to our Syria appeal.

Featured Photo: Eleanor Bentall/Tearfund, Zaatari camp, Jordan, home to approximately 124,000 Syrian refugees. Yara (4 months) with her sister and grandmother. Name changed for security reasons.

Human impact stories from the Tearfund project through local church partner inside Syria

Human impact stories from the Tearfund project through local church partner inside Syria – 20 Nov 2013

Maha’s story

Maha is a young woman who was displaced from Homs with her four children. They are now all living in a small rented apartment in another area of Syria. Her husband went missing more than a year ago, but Maha has not heard any details about him since. In Syria’s failing economy, Maha has found no work to meet her and her children’s basic needs.
Thankfully, Tearfund’s local partner has been active in the region since the start of the year, and has been providing emergency food assistance to Maha. The support has been crucial in this time of uncertainty for Maha and her children.

Ola Rahaal’s story

Four-year old Ola Rahaal was forced out of her village, together with her family and the rest of the community, by a group of Islamist militants several months ago. The family moved to the area of Syria where Tearfund’s local partner has been providing food assistance. Having left all their belongings behind and seeking refuge, they needed support for all their needs, including food and shelter.
However, the family soon received a further shock when Ola was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The entire community joined with Ola and her family in their sadness. A lack of medical support in the area due to the destruction of public hospitals forced the family to travel for medical care. Ola went through several operations, one of which left her blind.

Tearfund’s local partner has been helping Ola’s family throughout the process by providing food, and is seeking to meet medical needs where possible. Though a small contribution in itself, the food assistance has helped the family to cope and meet their basic nutritional needs.

Read more stories

Syria Sunday 17th November 2013

Syria Sunday 17th November 2013 – 7 Nov 2013

Since the civil war in Syria began in March 2011, more than 100,000 people have been killed. The number of refugees fleeing to neighbouring countries has topped 2 million, and these countries are feeling the strain. More than 4 million individuals have been displaced from their homes within Syria – but because of the fighting, aid agencies are unable to reach many of these people with the help they so desperately need.

International leaders are urging that a peace conference on Syria, dubbed Geneva II, should take place in late November, although at the time of writing a date has not yet been agreed. In response, Tearfund is calling churches to unite on Syria Sunday, 17 November, to pray for the peace process in Syria.
Please join us in praying that the Geneva II peace conference will take place without delay or hindrance, that all parties to the conflict will be present, and that the talks will be representative of the peaceful majority of Syrians, including women’s groups and refugees.

Download and share the resources for Sunday intercessions next week.

  • Syria – 7 Day Prayer Guide: Please use this guide to help you pray for Syria. You may like to focus on a different issue each day or to use these topics in a prayer group setting.
  • Syria Sunday – Church Prayer Guide: Time is running out for the men, women and children affected by the conflict. Winter is coming, and the cold weather will hit refugees hard. A peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria needs to be found – now.

Basimah’s story

Basimah’s story is chilling but not uncommon among the thousands of Syrian child refugees. She saw her home in Homs destroyed, her brother shot. Her family fled for their lives. She is just one of almost 473,000 Syrians who have escaped to Jordan – and one of the many supported through our Syria Crisis appeal, which has raised more than €60,000 so far. image

Home for Basimah and her family is now a camp where Tearfund is providing essentials like food packs, blankets, medicines and kitchen tools.
It’s evident from listening to Basimah that she has not fully left the conflict behind. She relives it often.

‘The army attacked us and our whole house was completely destroyed,’ says Basimah. ‘There was nothing left and we couldn’t stay. We fled for Jordan and arrived at the border at night._
‘The Syrian police started shooting at us and a bullet hit my brother’s head. We were all very afraid. We had to go to prison for a while. We went through a lot of difficult circumstances. Later we tried to enter Jordan and thank God this time we were successful. We got medical treatment for my brother and he is okay now.’

The trauma that Syria’s children are living with is clear too in the artwork they are producing with Tearfund partner Vision Hope International (see image). It is providing pre-school education, as well as ongoing trauma care through play and art therapy. Many children talk of losing family members, seeing homes destroyed, fearing death.

Other Tearfund partners are providing emergency food, funding for accommodation and other essentials for refugees in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

Thank you for your generous support.
Please give further if you can

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