A letter from… Syria
Smuggling Bibles in Syria
My job is to help distribute Bibles across Syria. The war has made this more difficult. Right now, we’re distributing 25,000 Bibles and scriptures each year. It used to be more, but it’s harder to get around now.
Whenever we leave our headquarters to make a trip it’s difficult, because we cannot anticipate what we may encounter on the road. The same applies when we make shipments of Bibles inside Syria. We don’t know if they will get to their destination or not. And receiving scriptures from outside Syria is very risky.
Sometimes we’re on the road and we are caught in a battle zone. So we park and wait until things calm down, and then we continue our journey. And there’s always the risk of being abducted.
But this is my mission, and I don’t feel that I can do anything else but fulfill it. Risk is everywhere, even at home with my family, so I can’t justify not pursuing my mission. Besides, Christ never promised us an easy life.
All the time, every day, I fear that I will not come home at the end of the day. But out in the country there’s a thirst for the scriptures, because, more important than food and shelter and peace, is hope. People find hope in the word of God.
Other than that, they have lost hope. They’ve lost hope in the country, lost hope in the countries that are promising to help.
Life here is tough. We can’t get medicines or food or nourishment. The only thing we have to eat is very poor quality bread. We buy things but we don’t know if they are past their sell-by date. Honestly, I have to tell you that we would rather have houses and universities than armaments.
When you go through checkpoints, many people take the scriptures and kiss them and place them on their forehead as a sign of reverence. We know how much impact our work has, so we’re always motivated to keep on with the work.
Gaith was talking to Hazel Southam. His name has been changed for security reasons. To support the work of the Bible Society in Syria, visit biblesociety.org.uk/supportsyria2015 or call 01793 418222
This is an extract from the September 2015 edition of Reform.