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HELPING SYRIANS SEEK GOD’S TOUCH IN TIMES OF TRAUMA

1 December 2017

From the depths of unimaginable pain and loss, the people of Syria are crying out for healing. SAT-7 ARABIC recently helped millions of viewers in Syria and across the Middle East turn to Jesus during times of trauma – by broadcasting a special church service with a profound message.

Six years of war have displaced half of all Syrians and ravaged cities including Damascus, Homs, Aleppo, and Raqqa. Many people have lost homes and loved ones. They have witnessed the worst of humanity and are afraid of what the future holds. As any of us would, they are desperately asking, “why?”

A GENTLE TOUCH OF LOVE
To minister to those struggling with this question, the United Evangelical Church in Damascus held a service entitled “His Touch in Times of Trauma” on 19 October. SAT-7 filmed as over 400 people attended the two-hour meeting, filling not only the pews and balconies but also the foyer, hallways, and outdoor courtyard.

Guest speaker Rev Dr Maher Samuel, an Egyptian preacher and psychologist, encouraged the hurting to seek comfort from God rather than intellectual answers. He asked a defining question:

“What do we need when we are in pain, an explanation or a gentle touch? I am not just a brain. I am a whole person who also needs love, compassion, and protection. I am not here to give you an explanation but to give you a person – Jesus.”

“HE WILL COME TO YOU”
Dr Samuel went on to preach from the book of Job, pointing out that Job asked God many questions but was not healed until God met with him. He reached out to the congregation, saying:

“I stand in respect and awe at the pain of everyone who is in this church. Only the Lord knows my understanding of the pain of every person who is listening now. I only give you Jesus Christ tonight. I know that He will come to you when you ask Him… If you open your heart to Him, He will come to you with overflowing currents of love.”

The preacher told the worshippers that Jesus, who endured the pain of sin on the Cross, empathises with their suffering. He reassured them that relationship with God can fill the emptiness of loss and that He will bring all pain to an end, saying, “God makes a beautiful picture out of the chaos in this world.”

Dr Samuel concluded by quoting from Habakkuk 3:17-18:

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour.”

His Touch in Times of Trauma is one of many regular and one-off church services broadcast bySAT-7 to encourage Christians across the Middle East and North Africa. These programs are a lifeline for many viewers, especially believers and seekers who have no church nearby or who cannot attend their local services.