Healing trauma in the Syrian war zone

“I’m dreaming of a country where there won’t be any soldiers, any checkpoints, any war.”

Syria has been a war zone for almost a decade. Everyone is affected, from ethnic populations, to the home of a Christian family in the northern city of Qamishli that was recently hit by Turkish shelling. The mother’s condition was critical and, if she survives, will be paralysed for life.

“We communicate with many church leaders who tell us that the situation is desperate …” – Bible Society in Syria

Last year, her family had fled from their rural home in Hama to find safety.

Bible Society in Syria is dreaming of an end to war, with the global thrust of folk singer Ed McCurdy’s lyrics: “Last night I had the strangest dream I ever dreamed before. I dreamed the world had all agreed to put an end to war.” But just as McCurdy’s song “Last night I Had The Strangest Dream” sadly indicates, Bible Society in Syria knows the harsh reality it faithfully operates within.

“We communicate with many church leaders who tell us that the situation is desperate and yet another huge Christian displacement is happening now – Chaldean church, Assyrian, Syriac Catholic and Orthodox churches are trying to help civilians and they are requesting prayers,” says the Christian organisation about the surge in conflict in Syria’s northern region.

Since 2015, Bible Society in Syria has been developing a Trauma Healing Training Program. “This is a very needed program in all communities of our country,” understates those who run it.

With the simple yet profound goal of training people to help others who are suffering from the personal horrors of war, the practical program operates classes across the unstable county.

“Together with the Church in Syria, we will stand up for human beings and their dignity – not in words only, but in action,” says Bible Society in Syria.

“We have continued sharing the Bread of Life during this long war. We will continue to do so … [God] is the only one who doesn’t betray and doesn’t give up on you, even if you fight against him.”

There is likely to be increased need for the Trauma Healing classes, following the recent attacks. “Many civilians have already died and thousands of them have been fleeing from their houses through the shelling and violent attacks,” reports Bible Society in Syria.

“The Churches have sent us the news that there are many injured, including Christians. Yes, we have become so saddened because of the massive displacement in a number of cities and towns, as a result of the shelling of some residential neighbourhoods in Qamishli, Ras Al-Ain, Tal Tamer, Tal Abyad, and others.

“This is just a continuation of the disasters inflicted on the Syrian population. It’s too high a price to pay for all of us in Syria.”

“You can pray. Pray, pray, pray.” – Bible Society in Syria

Bible Society in Syria does not exactly know how the good news of Jesus will cut through in a war zone. But it’s confident it can – and that the love of God is the best antidote to Syria’s ongoing conflicts. Bible Society in Syria invites all followers of Jesus to get behind its efforts, asking God to save Syria and strengthen his people there.

“You can pray. Pray, pray, pray. As followers of Jesus Christ, we are told to love our neighbour, even our enemies.”

“You can also help us continue the work that we believe is the work our Father, with the active help of the Holy Spirit, has asked us to do in this land of suffering.

“And, please, stand by his Church in this country. Make the Church feel that we are really part of the same Body of Christ.”

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