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Day 10, July 18: Damascus, Syria

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Day 10, July 18: Damascus, Syria

Damascus, Syria: The blood-drenched city

It was 1974. I came from Switzerland, my wife from Pakistan. We met in Beirut. We toured ancient biblical sites in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. It was in Damascus that I had the nightmare. Every inch of ground was drenched in blood crying out, “How long?”

Four years ago, I shared this with my Syrian brother. He thought it pertained to the past. So did I. After all, Damascus is the oldest inhabited city in the world. It has suffered endless invasions, with all the horror that accompanies them.

Mobilise Prayer

We never dreamt this nightmare was a portent of the future. Estimates as of mid 2013 spoke of over 93,000 killed in its latest crisis. Yesterday, we met again. His mission agency called him to mobilise prayer for his bleeding country. He reminded me of my nightmare nearly 40 years ago. He also reported that Christians have been targeted and slaughtered by the thousands, deliberately hunted down by certain groups of “freedom fighters” — the Wahabis, Al-Qaeda and others from abroad.

Shaking Nations

Meanwhile, his father, a pastor in downtown Damascus, refuses to abandon the sheep; amazingly, God is doing a new thing. Christians are in shock as they watch their churches fill with strangers — Muslims! Muslim women, fully veiled, along with their children and men are flocking to Jesus by the hundreds. How ironic that Syria, which interfered in the affairs of its neighbour (Lebanon), even instigating assassinations, including Christians,
should be reaping what it sowed. Truly God is shaking the nations.

Will there ever be an end to this incessant warfare in the Middle East? Jesus is the Prince of Peace. As long as people reject Him, there will be no peace.

Of course, God is not responsible for man’s mayhem. But He does know how to bring good out of evil. We are seeing that in Syria today.

Prayer ideas:

* Pray for peace to come, accompanied by religious freedom and just rulers (Proverbs 13:25).

* Pray for Christians who choose to stay in Syria to be protected and used mightily in their witness to shell-shocked neighbours looking for a new way of life.

* Pray for Christians abroad to pray and help those suffering inside Syria as well as those who are now refugees – “‘… whatever you did for one of the
least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” (Matthew 25:40)

Further Reading