The humanitarian crisis in Syria continues to grow exponentially. In April 2015 Mission & Service partner ACT Alliance reported 12.2 million people urgently needed basic assistance like shelter, food, and water. About 7.6 million people have been internally displaced in Syria, fleeing their homes to try to escape continuing violence. Over 3.9 million Syrian refugees have fled to neighbouring countries, 1 million to Lebanon alone. In Lebanon the Joint Christian Committee for Social Service, part of Mission & Service partner the Middle East Council of Churches, is looking beyond basic humanitarian needs and developing programs that will help refugees when they can hopefully return to Syria. One of those needs is ensuring Syrian children can still receive an education. Refugees are not able to attend Lebanese schools, and for those in higher grades this interruption to their education can compromise their future. The Joint Christian Committee for Social Service has begun working with grades 9 to 12 students in particular, using Syrian curriculum, textbooks, and teachers. Students are then able to take Syrian school exams. One young woman, Nowar, who passed her exams, had lost two years of schooling because of the conflict. As a result of this program she has now graduated from high school and plans to attend university. We are thankful for our gifts for Mission & Service that, in partnership with others, are creating a more hopeful future for young Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith.
Loving God, we are called to be your colours in the world, to walk with each other, to share in love through our gifts for Mission & Service. Guide us to shine brightly in the world. Amen