As the conflict in Syria rages on, Eddie has worked tirelessly with his local church to bring help and hope in one of the most dangerous cities in the country. If you would like to contribute financially to the work talked about in this video, visit om.org/give and enter "Syrian and Iraqi Relief" in the memo line of your donation form.
Video Script – Pastor Kareem explains the refugee situation in Kurdistan
OM Near East
This is Eddie.
He’s a husband, a scholar, a traveler, an expecting father and a respected member of his local church.
He’s also the leader of OM’s relief efforts in one of the most war-torn cities in Syria.
This is his story.
“My background is I was born in Kuwait, my mom is Lebanese and my father is Syrian, that’s why I am Syrian.
In 1998, we moved to Syria to live there, and I stayed until I completed my studies.
After I finished one academic year of Christian apologetics in Oxford University Wycliffe Hall, I felt that God is calling me to Syria. I stayed there after for seven months, struggling whether God wants me to stay.
My parents and my relatives encouraged me to go outside Syria and start a career or something. But after this struggle, I felt, no, God is asking me to stay in Syria full-time in ministry at my local church.”
In 2011, the Arab Spring uprisings spread to Syria. And what started as a peaceful protest calling for reform quickly devolved into an all-out war between Islamists and the ruling regime with millions of civilians caught in the middle.
“So many families are leaving. Talking about my relatives, more than 50 percent of them are now outside the country. About the church, last time I preached on Sunday, I was greeting the people, and I saw around 20 percent only from the church previously.
But all are new.
There are some newcomers, maybe impacted by the relief work we are doing, and some others impacted by the message they are receiving, so they are bringing each other to the church.
This is what also motivates me to stay. There is fruit. There is no other motive to stay because life is very difficult.
You can expect anytime that a mortar can drop in front of you or a gas missile. There is shortage of water. We had 40 days without any drop of water coming from the tap, so it was very difficult. We have shortage of oil, petrol, diesel. Now we are in winter, and this is the main item people get heat from it. It’s very difficult. Also transportation has become very expensive. According to the income of the individuals, the income is still the same while the living cost is now triple.
Our relief work at our church, we are supporting 1,800 families,
and we have some other funds sometimes we can help up to
2,000 families per month. You can say around 5,000 families are registered at our church, but until now, we are able to help around 2,000 families per month.”
*So if you were able to receive more from outside, you would be able to distribute it to people?*
This is the reason why we are helping because of Christ.
This is the grace we have, and we are trying to share this grace with others as much as we are having it.”
To partner financially with Eddie and others helping those affected by the conflict in Syria, go to: om.org/give
Memo line: “Syrian & Iraqi relief”
© OM Middle East North Africa (OM MENA), 2015