27. 11. 2013 | News, Archive 2013

... so they can remain in Syria

International Fellowship of the Evangelical Mission in Solidarity starts Project in Syria

The Evangelical Mission in Solidarity (EMS) and the Evangelical Association for the Schneller Schools (EVS) are taking action in Syria. In Kafroun, a school is being built that will initially take 30 pupils. The children and their parents will receive targeted assistance. The work of the school lets those affected by the war know that the international fellowship is searching for a way to get through to them and is ready to help. The focus of this work lies not on short-term relief missions, but rather on showing solidarity by offering long-term prospects during a terrible humanitarian crisis. The project is being carried out by the evangelical Church in Syria and Lebanon, but it is open to followers of all religions.

"The situation in Syria is getting worse," reports Pastor Habib Badr from the National Evangelical Church of Beirut and member of the international EMS Executive Board. "The evangelical Church in Syria, like many others, is committed to acting on the growing stream of refugees in the country. Children and their mothers are especially suffering in this situation. For some time now, the majority have been unable to find shelter with relatives. So far, the 'Valley of the Christians' together with the town Kafroun has mostly escaped the conflict. People are gathering there and need support. We want to take action to help them. We want to be present on the ground to offer assistance to everyone. In a situation like this, nothing would be worse than separating different ethnic or religious groups."

Pastor Dr. Uwe Gräbe from the Evangelical Association for the Schneller Schools explains, "We have been working in the Middle East for over 100 years." The association's work began with the 'Syrian Orphanage in Jerusalem'. The Schneller School in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon is already taking in refugee children from Syria and offering vocational training to their unemployed mothers. "We do not want to deny our own roots, which is why we are now working in Syria too. We are hoping to encounter a widespread willingness to help, which will enable us to be there for as many people as possible."

The Evangelical Association for the Schneller Schools is part of the worldwide fellowship of the EMS, together with 27 other associations and churches. "It was our international Mission Council that insisted on the involvement in Syria," says Jürgen Reichel, General Secretary of the EMS. "We now expect support for the people in Syria to come from Asia, Africa and Europe - from all our members. Were it not for generous pledges from the evangelical churches in Württemberg, Baden, Hesse, the Palatinate, the Moravian Mission, Indonesia, and Japan, we would not have been able to begin planning."

"Support this action to the best of your ability. That is a matter of conscience, since many of us know how desperate the situation in Syria is," explained Herta Däubler-Gmelin, patron of the action ... so they can remain in Syria. "Direct aid is essential. As EVS and EMS, we are now starting to provide this in Syria. However, nobody can foresee how the military conflicts will develop. All of the connections that we are now making constitute a promise not to abandon people. We hope and pray that peace will prevail and security will be restored, but we still need to be prepared for further dramatic turns of events."

Press Contact:

Corinna Waltz, Waltz@ems-online.org, Tel. +49 711 636 78 77, +49 178 62 000 53

Information:

Dr. Uwe Gräbe, Graebe@ems-online.org, Tel. +49 711 636 78 37, +49 178 63 678 37

Ulrike Schmidt-Hesse, Schmidt-Hesse@ems-online.org, Tel. +49 711 636 78 33

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