Relief Fund for Syrian women
President Aniko Ujvari and committee-member Synnove Gasvar Angen visiting Lebanon - 4-6 February 2014.
|We, the EBWU Committee, ask you to continue showing love to the Syrian women by giving donations to
“The Relief Fund for Syrian Women”. We cannot help everyone, but you can bring hope and love to someone by giving!!
We need YOUR help.
Please give your donation to
EBWU/ “Relief fund”,
Account number: 272728.
Spar- und Kreditbank Evangelisch-Freikirchlicher Gemeinden eG.
61282 Bad Homburg
IBAN: DE45 5009 2100 0000 2727 28
Report written by Synnove Angen
Prayers are the key
President Saada Malky the Lebanese Baptist Women’s Union greeted all the participants in a women’s meeting in a local Baptist church with the words from Isaiah 6:1-9.
Isaiah prayed when he was facing problems, he prayed! He knew that prayers made things happen, that prayer was the KEY to changes. Prayer opens the door so we can be close to the Lord our God. Prayer is fellowship with God. Prayer changes, prayer are the key. Instead of complaining over everything bad happening around us, we must use the key, our prayer and say: “Here am I, send me!”
We really experienced that the Baptist women (and men) we met in Lebanon had used this key and said to the Lord “Here am I, send me”. Their lives are committed to Christ and they show His love and care to people in need.
We lived in the Arab Baptist Theological Seminar during our stay in Lebanon and met several of the people working at the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD) / Lebanese Baptist Society. Rosette Mansour and the other people at Relief & Community Development together with Saada Malky from the Lebanese Baptist Women’s Union did an amazing job planning our stay and helping us fulfill our task, to encourage and show Gods love to some of the Syrian refugee women living in Lebanon on behalf of EBWU.
We also had the pleasure of meeting a pastor coming by car from Syria and giving him money from “The Relief fund” for his work among the people inside Syria. It is better and cheaper for him buying the products in Syria and it is not easy bringing things through the borderline because of the many checkpoints. The pastor and his volunteers are planning to use “the Relief fund money” to buy hygiene products, underwear and pajamas for about 400 women and have some Mothers day- / “women to women” events, making the women feel special and loved.
Our partner church in Syria started his work by ministering the women and children because they are the most vulnerable. The women are often the victims because the men are taken advantages of them (and the children). Many men are away at war or have died during the war and the women and children are left alone without anyone taking care of them, without security. The children need food and cloths and the women often have to go knocking on doors asking for help. Sometimes they are lucky, but very often they are chased away. The pastor and his volunteers are having contact with about 1600 families giving them support every month. I was asking the pastor: Are you not afraid of using your collar walking around in the society? He told us that in times of war it gives a positive message; he is bringing the message of peace. The inhabitants find the Christians trustworthy because they are serving and showing love to the people in need, while the different Muslim groups are fighting against and killing each other.
In the beginning of the ministry the inhabitants kept distance, but they continued serving the community and the people saw their love and start trusting. At Christmastime they gathered Shia, Sunni, Catholics, Protestants and Baptists in the Church at the same time! They also arrange parties for the children because they want them to feel that the churches are a place of joy.
The regular Lebanese are suffering because of the Syrian crisis. The Lebanese population has increased from 4 million to 5 million in the space of a few years because of the Syrians escaping civil war in their own country. The Syrian refugees are living all over the country. Those who can afford rent apartments, but most of the refugees move into existing buildings, occupy the nooks and crannies of buildings under constructions or live in shacks or tents. Abandoned buildings, including universities and shopping malls, have been taken over in their entirety by refugees.
Rosette and the other people at Relief & Community Development made a big effort buying hygiene products and underwear in advance, made packing a sisterly fellowship and letting us take part in the distribution of hygiene kits to Syrian women both in Beirut and the countryside, one and a half hour drive from Beirut. We met some devoted volunteers trying to make life easier for the Syrian refugees by showing them God's love through caring and good deeds. For me and Aniko it made an indelible impression to meet Syrian refugee women, speaking to them, hearing their stories and to see the hopelessness in some of the women’s eyes.
The executive director Nabil K. Costa sumes up what LSESD is all about using martin Luther King Jr's word: Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. We experienced that the people we meet in Lebanon, both the pastor coming from Syria, the people at LSESD, the volunteers working in the field and the women in the Lebanese Baptist Women’s Union are bringing light and love to the people in need.
We, the EBWU Committee, ask you to continue showing love to the Syrian women by giving donations to “The Relief Fund for Syrian Women”. We cannot help everyone, but you can bring hope and love to someone by giving!!
Norwegian women knitting socks for Syrian refugees
Synnove put a message on her Facebook page before going to Lebanon, asking her Norwegian friends making socks and other knitted items to Syrians in Lebanon. Within 14 days she received about 20 kg! She received packages by mail, from colleagues at work, from her local church and from friends wanting to show their love to the Syrian people by giving something made by their hands. An 85 year old woman from Gyland made 10 pairs of socks! Synnove almost filled her suitcase with this “spontaneous” gift from the Norwegian women.
click pictures to enlarge
So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them - Matt 7:12
Dear Lord, we know that you are giving us opportunities to share your love with people who need encouragement, support and a helping hand. Help us to always be willing to go, wherever you send us. In Jesus name, Amen.