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Syrian Christians choose hope

 

By Cara Taylor | Jinishian Memorial Program

Foes have come against our brothers and sisters in Syria: some whose bloodlust took loved ones and health. Other distant powers keep the economy in a chokehold. From within, there’s the voice of fear. Yet the love of God binds Armenian communities together, and they choose hope.

If God is for us, who can be against us? …Who can separate us from the love of God?

It’s estimated that during the war two-thirds of Christians and two-thirds of health professionals left Syria. Most who remained had the least resources but the greatest devotion and courage. The Jinishian Memorial Program (JMP) is uniquely positioned because it collaborates with local Apostolic, Catholic and Evangelical Armenian churches and service agencies to identify unmet needs.


In 2017, 75 percent of Jinishian’s budget went to address the health crisis and assist thousands in desperate need of medical care. Hundreds of Armenian families that fled the war have returned home to stay, motivated by peace to rebuild, but even those fortunate enough to have jobs can barely afford basics. Expenses have increased 10- to 20-fold, but wages have not. Power is still only available a few hours a day.


Millions of internally displaced people hope to restore their properties, but the task is daunting, while daily life is still a great struggle and dangers remain. JMP has been a lifeline for over 7,000 people struggling to overcome poverty, unemployment, grief, injury and property loss in 2017. Presbyterians and many ecumenical partners helped fund the work of restoring health, jobs and homes in Syria.


Healing trauma. Social worker Patricia Gurunian provided workshops, counseling and games to give young teens tools to cope with anxieties they still carry from the war.

 

 


Peace and Hope. Aleppo schools opened without bombs for the first time in seven years. JMP helped relieve the huge strain on parents with new backpacks and winter coats for hundreds of kids.

 


Safe children. JMP blessed almost 600 children with one-day summer school programs in Aleppo, which resumed thanks to increased security.

 
 
 


These sisters fled ISIS-controlled Raqqa for Damascus. JMP connected the industrious refugees with a direct donor for their washer and refrigerator.

 

 


One quarter of the JMP budget goes to emergency grants, allowances for families and hunger relief. Beneficiaries not only gain supplies but a community of support.

 

 


In 2017, people finally came out of their homes feeling happy, secure and hopeful for JMP-hosted holiday gatherings. Because of the program’s deep local roots in Damascus, Kamishly and Aleppo, donors can also give personal blessings like Easter clothes and church banquets.

 


Please pray for the Jinishian staff and volunteers who serve with faith, joy and sacrificial tenacity to honor genocide survivors before them and to lift up the next generation.

 

 

The Jinishian Memorial Program began in Aleppo, Syria in 1966 to meet the needs of the post-genocide Armenian population. Today JMP reaches more than 70,000 people each year in seven locations, often where other organizations won’t go — Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Artsakh and Georgia. The leadership and staff are 100 percent local and unite across Apostolic, Catholic and Evangelical traditions to share God’s love with the most vulnerable.

Give securely online to support the Jinishian Memorial Program. Your gift today will make a lasting impact in Syria. Each small act of mercy can empower someone for life.

 

Jinishian Memorial Program logo
…from poverty and despair
to self-sufficiency and hope