January 10, 2014

What it takes to get groceries in(to) Syria

By Joan Hutter

Here we fight traffic to buy groceries. In Syria, traffic takes on a whole new meaning, as does attaining food. Consider the following report from brave missionaries who crossed the border with a van-full of supplies for a little house church in Syria.

Since food is 10 times more expensive in Syria, they first stopped at the grocery store in their bordering nation. They loaded the van with food, medicine, powdered milk, blankets and Bibles on tape.

Rebel soldiers covered the roads, patrolling day and night. The missionary team chose the rough roads and traveled at night with headlights off, swerving on and off the road to dodge checkpoints and patrols.

They don´t know how, but they reached their destination: the home of a house church leader they´d spent time with in Bible study. When the driver opened the door of the little house, he was shocked by the number of women and children lying on the floor. It was early morning and they were still sleeping. The six to nine believers living in this house had taken in nearly 90 people.

“My heart broke as I saw this,” one of the missionaries said.

The freezing air cut to the bone but those on the floor had just a thin blanket if any covers at all. They had left their homes in a hurry, with no time to gather even basic needs.

When the missionaries entered, the leader rushed to greet them. “You are an answer to prayer. We were all praying because we had nothing left to eat or drink. The children are starving. The water was cut off and the army has blocked the village from getting any food inside.”

The missionary took the leader outside, opened the van and said, “This is from the donors of Christian Aid Mission. They would love to bless you and tell you that they are praying for you.”

The leader thanked him “a thousand times.” “Thank you, pastor, for coming and risking your life for us. We have been surrounded for weeks now, without any way of getting food or water or supplies.”

The children ate and drank as if they´d never seen food. A lady with diabetes and a heart problem received needed medicine.

When it was time to depart, they all gathered to pray a blessing over the missionaries. The men had emptied the contents of the van at this first stop, so they headed back to the border to reload, realizing again the clear risk of traveling. They made it back across the border, refilled their van and started their journey again along the hidden roads.

This time, the traffic was worse. At a random, unofficial checkpoint, rebels stopped them, questioned and beat them. However, they shared the gospel with the Muslim rebels, and although they lost their van, their lives were spared.

The grocery money travels a long way. And though the traffic is at times life threatening, missionaries are risking everything to deliver necessities to the ones in need.

“Our hearts are breaking every time,” the missionary said.

Salim - posted January 17, 2014
The only missionary organization I know that missionaries risk their lives in the Middle East is Voice of The Martyrs well known for what God is doing in the Persecuted Church. Now I see Christian Aid Mission used by our Lord in a similar way. That touches the depth of my heart.
Salim - posted January 17, 2014
God bless those missionaries who are risking their lives for the glorious Gospel. Thank you Christian Aid Mission for preparing and sending those missionaries to those difficult places. We know that where sin abounds grace abounds more. Aleppo is the city in Syria where I was born and raised. This story touches the depth of my heart. We will keep you in prayer. God bless your work.
Erma - posted January 16, 2014
Thanks for telling us what is happening in Syria. I want to help my brothers and sisters and will remember to pray for the church in Syria and for those who risk their lives to transport food, drink, and medicine. God bless you everyone!