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News / Thoughts

Syria: ‘Mum, I saw Jesus…’

November 21, 2022

In 2019, we introduced you to Apo, from Syria. Apo’s dad, Rober, was kidnapped in 2013 by Islamic extremists due to his Christian faith.

Thanks to your continued prayers and support, and help from a local Centre of Hop Apo who is ten, and his mum, Jina, are flourishing. Jina is being trained as a beautician in a local beauty salon – something she loves.

“A lot of things have changed in my life since the last time you came here,” Jina says. “The organisation (Open Doors) helped me a lot to find this work.

I love make-up. I have loved make-up ever since I was a child. Now whenever I see one of my friends, I say, ‘Come, let me do your make-up!’ Now I’m doing their make-up and practising, thanks to the organisation. I want to develop my skills to make this an income source – you know how expensive it is nowadays, everything is expensive – for me and for my son to be able to survive and live decently.”

Apo spends a lot of time with other children at the Centre of Hope, playing games and attending classes. “What I like most at school is the sports class,” he says. “I play basketball and sometimes the coach trains me and we play against another team. I also have swimming class and play football.”

Jesus meets Apo in a dream to encourage Jina

Jina struggled bringing Apo up on her own. He used to misbehave a lot – but he’s found a place to channel all of his energy through the sports he plays.

Initially, she wasn’t sure if she should begin the training at the salon. But God spoke to Apo in a dream! “One morning my son said, ‘Mum, I saw Jesus’,” Jina remembers. “He said, ‘Jesus asked me to be a good son to you and not to give you a hard time. And to be good in my school.’ He continued with, ‘Mum, you should go work. I will listen to what you say and be a good son to you, I am okay with whatever you want.”

“If I continue this path, my future is good”

Life has not been easy for Jina and Apo. So many years have now passed since Rober’s disappearance that the authorities officially designate Jina as a widow. “We still don’t know about him,” Jina says. “It’s been ten years and we haven’t heard of him. Nothing. My son looks at the picture and cries. I ask him why he’s crying, and he says, “When will my dad come back? They all have fathers and mothers and I only have a mother. I don’t have a father.”

But through the help she and Apo are receiving through the Centre of Hope, Jina is optimistic about the future. “If I continue this path, my future is good, my income will be good. I thank you who supported me from the bottom of my heart. I pray that God will bless you and will open new doors for you to continue to help us in Syria.”

Pray now…

  • That Jina will go from strength to strength in her new job and be a blessing to her customers
  • That God will bless Apo through sports and the classes he attends
  • For Open Doors partners in Syria as they continue to reach out to families in need this Christmas

Do something

Do something…

1. Get our free World Cup prayer wall chart and pray for Christians facing persecution from countries in the tournament.
Order yours here…

2. Download our free Christmas session outline! Grab a free Christmas session outline to use in your youth/small groups in the build up to Christmas!
Get it here…

3. Pray regularly: Every Monday night at 7pm we’ll be praying one prayer for one minute for the one in seven Christians around the world who face persecution. Set an alarm and tune in…

*names changed for security reasons

We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.