Opinion: A prayer for Syria — freedom from fear

Jun 4, 2018 by and

“Fill me with your love, O Lord,” I say to myself as I breathe in. “And free me from fear,” I think on the exhale. I’m sitting in a black van, parked on the side of the highway in Syria. As I look...

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Hard to hallow

Apr 24, 2018 by

Richard Beck is a blogger whom I have been reading for quite a while now. He’s a psychology professor and “progressive Christian,” although he seems to have a level of distaste for the term that...

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War will not stop us

Feb 27, 2018 by

Come to me, all you that are weary . . . and I will give you rest. — Matt. 11:28 “I always pray, God, please protect us today.” Rima Absi is speaking about the rocket fire in Damascus, Syria. She is...

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Every little bit of aid shows love in Syria

Jan 16, 2017 by and

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Ibrahim Nseir, a Presbyterian pastor, was chatting at a Beirut hotel in late November with others attending a gathering of Protestant leaders from the Middle East and beyond when a call...

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MCC Christmas message: Pray with us for peace

Dec 15, 2016 by , and

Silent night, holy night, All is calm, all is bright Round yon virgin mother and child. Holy infant so tender and mild, Sleep in heavenly peace. Sleep in heavenly peace. Exactly 200 years ago, in the...

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MCC’s crisis response in Syria is its largest ever

Nov 29, 2016 by and

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The humanitarian work of Mennonite Central Committee in Syria during this time of war grew out of the placement of a single worker with the Syriac Orthodox Church 25 years ago. “It’s...

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Syrian refugees depend on MCC food

Jun 6, 2016 by and

With the war in Syria entering its sixth year, it’s easy to get lost in the facts and figures: As many as 470,000 dead; 4.6 million refugees who have fled the country; 6.6 million displaced within it; 13.5...

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MCC uses $34.6 million to respond to Syria, Iraq crisis

Mar 10, 2016 by and

AKRON, Pa. — Since the Syrian war began five years ago in March, Mennonite Central Committee has spent about $34.6 million to relieve the suffering of Syrians, Iraqis and people in neighboring countries who...

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Giving up on nonviolence

Oct 22, 2015 by

The more I watch the news, scroll through my Twitter and Facebook feeds, and listen to NPR, the more I wonder if peace is possible. The idea that we are progressing as a human race is simply folly. American...

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Lightening the load: providing relief and hope in Syria

Oct 12, 2015 by and

Every morning, before Samer al Laham goes to work, he checks to make sure it’s safe to go outside. That’s because in Syria there are some days when “people wake up in the morning and then see that there...

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Defining the other and the Syrian refugee crisis

Sep 24, 2015 by

Early in the Syrian refugee crisis, I was asked by the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada to be part of a delegation meeting with Chris Alexander, Canada’s Minister of Immigration. We indicated that the...

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Opening a window of hope amid Syrian war

Sep 21, 2015 by and

Roseangela Jarjour talks daily with pastors in Syria working for peace and providing a reason for Syrians who stay to hope, even as they hear bombs drop around them. “The priority is really to bring peace...

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MCC aid gives Syrians reason to stay

Sep 21, 2015 by , and

Mennonite Central Committee is appealing for more funds to help meet basic human needs of Syrians who want to stay near their homes as large numbers leave the Middle East. For four years, the war in Syria has...

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With grants, MCC assists displaced in Iraq, Syria

Sep 14, 2015 by and

It’s been a year since Qasim left his home in Sinjar, Iraq. He was fleeing an advance by the Islamic State — the same advance that left tens of thousands of other Yazidis stranded in the mountains, trapped...

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A disruption of natural order

Sep 10, 2015 by

Every day, it seems, the refugee crisis in Europe worsens. Every day, the headlines that jump out at me when I open my computer in the morning are grim and foreboding. It’s not at all hard to imagine things...

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Mideast peace work grows

Jun 15, 2015 by and

A grant from the Canadian government will allow Mennonite Central Committee to enhance its peacebuilding work in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. The grant is worth $500,000, or $402,150 in U.S. funds. In Iraq, MCC...

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MCC meets Gaza housing needs

Mar 30, 2015 by and

AKRON, Pa. — Mennonite Central Committee, through longtime Gaza Strip partner Al Najd Development Forum, is addressing housing needs for families whose homes were destroyed or damaged in July and August as...

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What it means to be human

Feb 2, 2015 by

ALEPPO, Syria — This morning I woke up at 4:30 a.m. to the sound of a mortar exploding. I said to myself, “A new day is started.” This is normal in Aleppo. I went to the kitchen, hoping to get some tea...

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Syrian stories need to be told

Sep 24, 2014 by

Hadija is 10 years old. She wakes up at 6 a.m., climbs in the back of a truck full of children, and drives to a potato field in the Bekaa Valley where she will work for at least seven hours. And Rami is 12...

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Syrian refugee girls find light and hope at Lebanon center

Jun 9, 2014 by and

Damaris, a 13-year-old Syrian refugee, still waits for her father to come home. More than five months ago, she quit school when fighting between government and opposition forces began in her family’s Aleppo...

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An evening of hope at the edge of war

Apr 28, 2014 by

It is often tempting to throw up one’s hands in despair as the United Nations, founded after World War II to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war,” seems helpless to even slow down the...

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No to strike in Syria

Sep 16, 2013 by

More than 100,000 people have died in Syria’s two-year civil war. The brutal conflict became a crime against humanity long before the gas attack that killed 1,400 civilians. But it took the chemical...

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