|(Photo courtesy Baptist Global Response)|
Syria (BGR/MNN) ― Syria's government forces spent much of Thursday in a violent confrontation with rebels in parts of the capital city.
Pro- and anti-Assad gunmen, fueled by tensions in neighboring Syria, were also fighting over the border in Lebanon's city of Tripoli, nullifying a truce less than 24 hours old.
In the 18-months since the first rebellion during the "Arab Spring," the United Nations estimates 2.5 million people are in need of humanitarian aid. The flow of refugees to neighboring countries continues its steady growth, although there are many thousands still trapped within Syria. Civilian deaths, according to observer reports topped 21,000 earlier this month. That number has climbed higher over the last two weeks.
Despite the growing desperation, there are some who bring hope and light with the gentle knock at the door. Baptist Global Responsesays there's a Syrian Christian couple living in a neighboring country who is delivering food and other basic necessities to internal refugees.
These Christians are going into Sunni Muslims neighborhoods near one of the Syrian cities hit hard by shelling and army-rebel combat. The nearby area, populated primarily by Syrian Christians, has been spared the worst of the violence.
"I don't know that there's any 'safe zone' in Syria, but because this area is largely Christian, it hasn't been a target of a lot of the fighting," a Christian worker says. "A lot of refugees who didn't leave the country went to this area and sought refuge. There's a great opportunity there. We're in the very beginning stages of that project.The severity of the need is greater inside the country than what we're seeing [among refugees leaving the country]."
Confused and frightened, thousands of Syrians are looking for something to cling to. They are disillusioned by the war around them and respond to Truth that appears on their doorstep in the form of physical aid, the compassion of Christ, and ultimately, the Word of God.
"In the midst of all the violence, you see these bright spots and know He really is at work and drawing the hearts of people to Himself," the aid worker says. Pray for as these workers share the hope of Christ.