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Gifts of nourishment and hope

Sadira’s* husband and two children perished in an attack in their Syrian hometown. Fearing for their lives, Sadira and her only remaining child fled to a camp where she met CAM contacts who provided food for her.

“Why would God take my husband and children?” was one of the many questions Sadira asked our contacts. This gave them an opportunity to listen to her story and encourage her. Their encouragement helped Sadira understand God’s love and peace.

Please pray for Syrians who face ongoing hardships. More than a decade of war and the resulting economic crisis have left many people in severe poverty. Pray that through the gift of food parcels, needy Syrians would receive not only nourishment, but also hope.

*Name is changed to protect identity.

To help provide food parcels for Syrian refugees, please click the button below to give a gift.


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Hunger and a lack of hope

lack of hope, Christian Aid Mistries

Since not much active fighting is happening in Syria, the country has mostly fallen from world headlines. It seems that many people have forgotten about it. However, hunger and a lack of hope linger within its borders.

“Poverty, inflation, shortages, hunger, and a lack of work continue to grind down on the Syrian people,” writes a CAM staff member in the Middle East. “[This leaves] them with little to look forward to.”

One Syrian family with five youth-aged children lives in a small, two-room home. Saad,* the father, lost his job when the company he worked for shut down. The heart attack he recently suffered added to the family’s hardships.

One of Saad’s sons carries mental scars caused by the brutality of Syria’s civil war. During one attack, he watched his friends being horrifically killed. He escaped by crawling away on his stomach, but the scenes plague him.

A monthly food parcel reminds Saad’s family that someone cares for them. It eases the stress of trying to balance a limited income with rising food prices.

Noor is a young widowed mother of five children. Unable to afford rent, they live in an abandoned, damaged building. Noor worries that the owners of the building may return and chase out her and her children, leaving them with nowhere to go.

The building’s ground floor contains dingy, burned-out rooms. Noor and her family’s main living  quarters consist of three rooms on the second floor. Only one of their three rooms has real windows  to keep out the elements. The other “windows” are gaping holes where windows once were. “This young lady and her five children had almost nothing to their name,” said a staff member.

CAM contacts deliver a food parcel each month to this vulnerable family. Noor says the parcel is  their main source of food.

*Names in this article are not actual names.

To help support the Food-Parcels-for-Syrian-Refugees program, please click the button below to give a gift.


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“I was crippled with burden”

crippled, Christian Aid Minstries

“Many times I would wonder what to say to my starving children when they were crying with hunger and unable to sleep at night,” Aasimah* in Syria confided to our contacts. “I had to choose between food or medication.”

Aasimah cares for her three nephews and one niece since their father died and their mother abandoned them. Three of the children suffer from medical conditions—epileptic seizures, post-traumatic stress disorder, and asthma. Their home’s rotten walls and leaking roof compound their misery.

Every time a food parcel arrives at Aasimah’s home, the children dance with joy. “I’m speechless; no one helped me before,” Aasimah said tearfully. “I was crippled with burden until your generous help arrived at my doorstep. My children were given another chance, not only to survive, but also to enjoy life like other children!”

*Name is changed to protect identity.

To help support the Food-Parcels-for-Syrian-Refugees program, please click the button below to give a gift.


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Syria’s plight of hunger

Hunger and disease, Christian Aid Minstries

Ridwan’s* family lives in Syria where hunger is a problem—a lingering plight for thousands of displaced people. The war in Syria has mostly calmed, but many issues remain unsolved.

Ridwan and his wife have four children ranging from Kashif who is in seventh grade, to three-year-old Nida, who is partially paralyzed and suffers from severe vision impairment. The family lives in a dusty, unfinished building without doors, windows, water, or electricity. Ridwan does not have the income to rent a better home, so they are at the mercy of a kind man who lent them this building. Hunger and disease plague them.

Without water in their home, the family is forced to buy water for drinking and cooking. Rising water prices further strain their financial situation. They have only enough water for their children to bathe about once a month.

Damaged cartilage in Ridwan’s ankle hinders his movement. The condition requires surgery, but he cannot afford an operation. The money he earns from scavenging for items to sell is hardly enough to even buy bread.

CAM contacts in Syria reach out to displaced families across the country. Every month they give Ridwan and his family a food parcel with powdered milk, canned vegetables, and other items. One contact says it fills his heart with joy to see the children happy and cheerful when they receive food.

In recent months, the basic food costs for a family in Syria increased by 40 percent. Spiraling inflation and daily rising prices make milk, cheese, and other nutritious foods a distant dream for vulnerable Syrian families.

Your generosity helps fulfill this dream. Children smile when they see the food provided by supporters. Thank you!

*Names in this article are changed to protect identities.

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Syria: a decade of destruction

destruction, Syria, Christian Aid Ministries

Syrians feel forgotten,” says a CAM contact. The conflict in Syria has mostly fallen from news headlines after a decade of chaos that shattered peace and prosperity. Warfare has subsided to pockets of fighting in parts of the country. However, in the wake of this conflict lies a battered country. Ten years of fighting have taken their toll in devastating the economy, reducing homes to rubble, and causing horrific human suffering and destruction. Approximately 400,000 people have been killed in the war.

Following anti-government protests in 2011, Syrian leadership responded with deadly force. This clashing of powers quickly escalated into civil war. Areas of Syria fell under the control of opposing forces and brutal conflict ensued. Millions of ordinary Syrians were caught in the chaos. Their stories include the death or disappearance of loved ones, destruction of homes, and sudden displacement from villages and cities.

Although Syria’s conflict has diminished, the effects of this civil war will no doubt plague the country for decades. Over half of Syria’s population remains displaced, according to the UN Refugee Agency. Thousands of people survive in makeshift homes throughout the Middle East and Europe. In many countries, they are regarded as intrusions and cannot legally hold jobs. Many of these refugees have endured years of separation from loved ones.

Inside Syria, the economy is in shambles. Severe inflation and shortages of essentials like food create serious hunger and other complexities for people still living in the country. In some cases, people stand in line for hours to buy bread. COVID-19 restrictions compound this poverty by taking away the few jobs people could find.

Houses, schools, hospitals, and businesses across the country remain in ruins. Many Syrians lack the resources to repair or rebuild their homes. It is more than many of them can afford when they already struggle to pay rent and feed their families.

Mohsin,* a Syrian father, shares his story. “We lived a simple, happy, and peaceful life. . . . My brother and I worked on our own farm. . . . In early 2013, armed extremists . . . raided [our village], robbing homes and shops, kidnapping and killing two men, and injuring many others.” Mohsin’s brother was among the injured. The brothers fled with their families, fearing for the lives of their children.

After the injury of Mohsin’s brother left him permanently disabled, Mohsin was forced to provide for both families. He struggled to find consistent sources of income. The news that over 80 percent of the homes in their village were destroyed dealt a heavy blow. “I faced a long and difficult battle for survival,” Mohsin shared.

Our contacts gave these families food parcels after witnessing their needs. Mohsin said, “My children with their cousins . . . celebrated having two boxes of ‘fancy’ food. . . . it had been months since they last had tasty cheese, tuna, or healthy milk!”

Thank you for showing Christ’s love to the people of the Middle East in these years of tragedy. Your generosity helps CAM reach out through food, medical care, hygiene items, and other aid. We are also supporting small rebuilding and self-support projects in Syria. The needs in this region remain abundant. We desire to continue providing aid to victims  of conflict in the Middle East as funds are available. If you would like to help, your support will be a blessing! Above all, pray that the war-weary people of Syria would find true peace in the Prince of Peace.   

God bless you!

*Name changed to protect identity.

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Nourishing food for suffering Syrians

suffering Syrians, Christian Aid Ministries

As the civil war in Syria enters its tenth year, millions face extreme need. The war has separated families and left entire communities in ruins. More than half of Syria’s people fled their homes to escape the conflict. Now jobs are scarce because of economic instability. In some countries where they have taken refuge, Syrian refugees are no longer wanted. For many, life is a bleak and difficult struggle.

CAM is supplying food parcels containing essential food and hygiene items for suffering Syrians, bringing a ray of hope in their misery. One recipient says, “We are surely still suffering and facing many challenges, but this food basket helps us continue to live with dignity.”

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“I thank God for the monthly parcel”

monthly parcel, Christian Aid Ministries

Six years ago, Nasir* and his family fled from war, leaving their comfortable home in Syria. Now they call a two-room tent their home, and their former life in Syria feels like a dream. Nasir’s wife shares, “My husband and I . . . remember the good old days in Syria where we were never afraid of not being able to provide for the basic needs of our family.”

Nasir is able to earn a small income during the summer by working in a vineyard. But when winter arrives, he is left without a stable income and struggles tremendously to provide for his family.

God saw Nasir’s plight, and mercifully directed our contacts to his family. Now their life is made easier by a monthly food parcel. Nasir says this parcel makes them feel safe. “I thank God for the monthly parcel,” he says. “As a parent, what is important to me is . . . to provide food and safety for my children.”

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WAR IN SYRIA: Picking Up The Pieces

War in Syria, Christian Aid Ministries

Sadness poured from Zalika’s* dull eyes and gaunt face as she told a CAM staff member about her headache and stomach pain. Zalika had come to the makeshift clinic that CAM set up in her village. A staff member shared, “When I asked about her life, her sad story spilled out.”

About two months ago, Zalika, her husband, and their five children were sleeping soundly when they were abruptly awakened by their neighbors who urged them to run. The militias were invading their town and were notorious for kidnapping and killing. Zalika and her family quickly grabbed a few items, slipped on their sandals, and ran for their lives. She shared, “I wish I would have grabbed my shoes!”

The family found refuge in a village, but then the roof caved in on the house where they stayed. They tried to gain entrance to a refugee camp but were turned away because it was full. The family went back to the village and now lives in a mud barn. They use one of their few blankets for a door and have little money to buy fuel for the heater. Zalika shares of going to bed hungry many nights.

Across the Middle East, this desperate scene is all too common. In northern Syria, a few families use sheets of plastic to divide a former prison cell into living quarters while their children play in the courtyard. The cold, dark halls offer no comfort, but this abandoned detention center was the only available shelter they could find. Others sought refuge in schools, abandoned buildings, and makeshift tents. For many, this is not the first time they had to flee, and they wonder if there is any safe place left on earth.

Several months ago, CAM staff members were able to travel throughout war-torn western Syria for the first time. The conflict is largely resolved in this part of the country, but the awful results of war are evident everywhere. Entire city blocks lie in ruins with no signs of life. Shattered high-rise apartment buildings overlook acres of destroyed houses and empty streets. A CAM contact reported that he saw people digging through garbage for food and cooking weeds to eat.

“We met children who are mentally handicapped as a result of the bombing, and widowed mothers who are left with no means of income,” said a staff member. “Some pleaded with us to help them find some way to support their families, and others thanked us profusely for the food parcels.”

In the Christian quarter of Homs, Syria, laundry fluttered from the balcony of the only house on the street that was repaired enough to live in. Christians are urged to return to their homes, but the odds are great. Many of them have exhausted their life savings trying to survive the war. If they want to return, they have to repair their homes and perhaps face the reality of living alone in the rubble of an abandoned street.

While the war has been winding down and is no longer a focus in news headlines, the people are suffering more than ever. In Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, and Iraq, refugees still languish in camps while waiting to return home. Two battle fronts in Syria displaced hundreds of thousands in the past months.

CAM staff members and contacts across the region are working to provide food, medical care, and other aid while researching ways to help those who wish to return home. However, we are facing 2020 with a funding deficit for this project. As funds are available, we would like to continue to show God’s love to those attempting to recover from the brutal wars in Syria and Iraq. If you would like to help, your support and prayers will be a blessing.

God bless you!

*Name changed to protect identity.

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“I miss my husband,”

husband

Stephanie* came to Lebanon after her husband was kidnapped in Syria. She doesn’t know what happened to him. “I miss my husband,” Stephanie shared. “Every day I search for news about him.”

Stephanie now lives in a small tent with her two daughters. The monthly food parcel she receives from CAM provides some nourishment for this small family. “[My husband and I] used to work together to provide our daily bread,” she said. “I have no money to buy food. This food parcel is a great blessing for my daughters and I . . . [My daughters] love to eat Syrian food, and with the grace of God, I am able to prepare food for them every day.”

*Name changed to protect identity.

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Syrians Struggling to Start Over

Syrian

Hopeful signs indicate that the deadly eight-year-old Syrian war, which has killed approximately 500,000 people, may soon come to an end. Nevertheless, Syrians still face tremendous challenges and serious financial struggles. A few of the 5 million Syrians who fled the country have decided to return, but it’s extremely difficult for them to find work. Rising inflation has increased the price of goods. Your support is a great blessing to Syrians starting over after so much destruction and loss.