"Really, only God could pull this one off." Those were the words of E3 Partners Middle East expert Tom Doyle, talking to Mission Network News about the miraculous way the gospel is reaching the hearts of the Syrian people.
According to Doyle, "There are five levels of secret police. They watch your every move. The believers who are reaching out to Muslims [are] watched and questioned continually."
While nobody likes war, Doyle says, 20,000 Syrians left Syria just this week. "Because of the war in Syria, we're hearing 300,000 now may be in Jordan. They've been displaced. They have nothing, but in Jordan they don't have the Syrian government looking over their shoulder."
Doyle is in the Middle East right now. He and his wife met with Muslim women who are being served by Jordanian Christians with the help of E3 Partners. "They were so gracious. They were so thankful and were telling us stories about how the believers were reaching out to them: Basically they're the only ones that they trust right now."
Many of these Muslims are turning to Christ, but it's not clear how many. Doyle says this outreach could affect the next generation. "Little children are hearing about Jesus. We all know how important that is, before they hit 12 years old, to have a clear understanding of who the real Jesus is, and that's what they're receiving."
E3 Partners has identified about 400 Syrian families that they're supporting. Doyle says the partners are excited about the opportunities. "Our leaders believe that this is the time to reach Syrians like never before. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? [Will President] Assad stand, or will he fall? We don't know. God has opened this door. His hand is all over it."
Women will be the focus of future outreach through Selah Ministries, which is headed up by JoAnn Doyle. A team of women are going back to Jordan in March to work "with Syrian women on post-traumatic stress disorder. We met a family that is so traumatized: part of their family had been killed. They have two children that have not spoken for months now. They're so traumatized they can't get any words out."
You can support E3's Syrian Refugee Project at E3Partners.org. One hundred percent of your contributions go to help the refugees physically and spiritually.
Syria is one of the countries where Christians face the most severe persecution. Doyle says, "This is a country where keeping the Gospel out has been relatively easy because they have a dictatorial government that controls the secret police. But, now it is spreading."
Doyle is asking people to become a part of their 8:38 Prayer Team. "Set your watches to 8:38 PM and remember believers who are in prison, in persecution, or danger. We [pray] at 8:38 p.m. because Christians are just waking up in these areas of the world, and also because it goes with Romans 8:38."