As nearly five million people in desperate need have now fled Syria, remarkable testimonies of salvation are emerging from the largest refugee crisis in history.
One of the most amazing stories is that of Syrian mother Rima*, whose real name actually means ‘hope.’ After her home was completely destroyed and her husband disappeared, Rima fled to Lebanon with her three young sons. She walked for nearly seven hours in freezing conditions to the Lebanon border, where she was able to find shelter in an unfinished apartment building that was open to the elements.
Through a series of incredible circumstances, a team from Leading The Way was led by God to visit Rima in her home.
Leading The Way’s Help The Persecuted ministry coordinator Mary says they were shocked to see the terrible conditions where Rima’s young family was staying: “What we saw was very heart-breaking. There were no windows, no doors, no heat, no electricity, nothing.”
Throughout a number of visits, the team was able to provide vital practical help including much needed warm clothes, medical supplies, one of Leading The Way’s Navigator audio Bibles and a stove as her ten-year-old boy was ill with a fever.
However, Mary says the greatest gift they were able to offer Rima was Christ:
“I asked her if she knew Jesus, that God sent us to her. She said ‘I know that because you are all here,’ and she could tell that we were going to help her. From there she was just so open. She said ‘yes I believe in Jesus’ and I asked her if she wanted to pray and she said ‘yes.’”
Rima’s story is featured in a powerful video where you can see Leading The Way’s Executive Vice President Joshua Youssef deeply moved at the point when Rima accepts Christ.
Watch the video here.
“That whole moment with the rawness of the conditions, Mary’s boldness, and Rima’s openness was why it was so emotional,” says Joshua.
He added that they’re seeing multiple salvations like Rima’s in the midst of this terrible crisis:
“We drew so much hope from the volume of people coming to the Lord. We went to one church where there are 400 Syrian Muslims who’ve come to Christ, the next church there’s 250, meeting five times on a Sunday. That’s just two churches.
“You think maybe the Lord is turning this crisis in a way that would benefit the future of Syria in that they’re coming to know the Lord and could go back into their countries and re-populate Syria with newly converted Christians. That to me is the most exciting thing about this issue.”
Leading The Way’s Senior Director of International Operations Allan Guinan concluded that through their broadcasts into this region, alongside their on-the-ground follow-up teams and practical help for persecuted Christians, this is an unprecedented moment to reach the Middle East for Christ:
“It was a remarkable, divine opportunity that the Lord put Rima into the path of our team members. It was such a joy to see her commit her life to the Lord. These are the stories we don’t see in the mainstream news. We see this happening a lot, with people calling our follow up teams and wanting to know about the Lord Jesus. This is an unprecedented opportunity as we’re seeing more Muslims coming to Christ than at any other time in our ministry.”
To learn more about how you can support Leading The Way’s Gospel outreach here at home and in the Muslim world, visit uk.LTW.org or call 0800 432 0419.
You can also follow Dr Michael Youssef on Twitter at: @MichaelAYoussef
*Name has been changed for her protection.
Picture captions: Syrian refugee accepts Christ, Joshua Youssef visiting refugee children.