The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) supports our partners who work in Syria in their efforts, continuing what has been a long history of mission work in this area. Although Presbyterian World Mission does not have mission co-workers in Syria presently, we have had personnel serving there in the past.
The Jinishian Memorial Program, however, has maintained uninterrupted service to thousands of people every year through a 100% indigenous mission team. This outreach began in 1966 to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the post-genocide Armenian population, a vital Christian minority in Syria. Courageous local staff in Aleppo, Damascus and Kamishly bring desperately needed emergency relief and social services to the most vulnerable and build ecumenical partnerships with Apostolic, Catholic and Evangelical churches.
Presbyterians have been involved in Syria from the early 1800s, when early American Presbyterian missionaries came to the Near East. American Presbyterians took the lead in Syria, as they had in Lebanon, in education, health care and church development. However, most mission work has been united in Syria (and Lebanon) under one mission society, which included Presbyterians from Scotland and Ireland and Lutherans from Denmark. In 1956, the Mission Society of Syria and Lebanon encouraged and helped develop national leadership in the two countries, and the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon was established. The National Synod now is responsible for all churches, schools and hospitals that were under the mission.
National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon (NESSL)
Begun in 1823, the NESSL is one of the earliest active and continuing overseas mission outreaches for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). This mission is responsible for planting churches throughout Syria and Lebanon translating the Bible into Arabic and creating world-class educational institutions. The schools include American University at Beirut, Lebanese American University and some 20 elementary and secondary schools. The Synod established health institutions that still flourish today. The Presbyterian church is challenged with rebuilding its membership after a 17-year civil war in Lebanon and devastating conditions resulting from recurring Middle East conflicts.
The NESSL owns and operates an excellent conference center known as Dhour El Choueir Conference Center. The center is thriving with activities for children, youth, women and families. It is also a popular location for conferences and retreats. The Synod considers Dhour El Choueir Conference Center to be a major locus for continuing education of clergy and laity. (Note: If you would like more information on Dhour El Choueir Conference Center — availability, rates, etc. — please visit the Synod’s web site at http://en.synod-sl.org/.)
Support PC (USA)’s partnership with the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon.
Support PC(USA)’s partnerships in the Middle East.
Lacey Gilliam, Mission Specialist for the Middle East and Europe, Presbyterian World Mission, email@example.com
The Syria-Lebanon Partnership Network is one among more than 40 networks that connect Presbyterians who share a common mission interest. Most participants are involved in mission partnerships through congregations, presbyteries or synods. Network members come together to coordinate efforts, share best practices, and develop strategies.
Support the Syria Lebanon Partnership Network
For information, contact Tim McCalmont at firstname.lastname@example.org.