Hope Prayer Team: Psalm 7:9by KRISTY J. O’HARA, THEODORE SAM, AND LAURA COLMENARES, World Vision on March 9, 2016
©2014 THEODORE SAM/WORLD VISION
Thirteen-year-old Abdul lost his father in the violence in Syria. He and his siblings attend a World Vision center to recover from what they've experienced.
Thirteen-year-old Abdul and his friends sing loudly and enthusiastically about how beautiful their country of Syria is.
“Most children have grown up listening to revolutionary songs,” says Ammena, a coordinator for World Vision’s Adolescent-Friendly Space in Zarqa, Jordan. “We try to change that and teach them songs that talk about the nice things in their country.”
Abdul is one of more than 100 Syrian youth who come to the center to recover from the violence they’ve experienced during the Syrian war, which began five years ago this month.
Abdul, his three brothers, and his sister fled their home when the war made it unsafe to live there. They traveled three days by car to reach Jordan’s border and then walked another day to reach Zarqa. “It was extremely difficult,” Abdul says.
Back home in Syria, Abdul’s family had a comfortable life. “We had our own house,” Abdul says. “It was a very nice house.”
Now the family of six relies on humanitarian aid and can only afford to rent an old, decrepit house. “It feels like if you punch the wall, the house might fall down,” Abdul says.
Violence rages in several regions of the world, affecting children like Abdul every day. Join us this month in praying Psalm 7:9 over everyone affected by violence.
Suggested prayer points
“Bring to an end the violence of the wicked …”
While Abdul and his family decided to flee, Abdul’s father didn’t go because he didn’t want to leave his homeland. “A plane bombed the place they were staying,” Abdul says. “He was severely injured and died immediately.” Abdul received the news from his grandparents, who stayed because they couldn’t handle the long journey.
Heavenly Father, there is so much evil in this world. We can’t imagine what it’s like for Abdul to lose his father to such violence. Comfort the hearts of Abdul and his siblings. As wars and conflict rage around the world, work in the hearts of those who propagate evil. Speak to them in mighty ways and bring an end to their violence.
“… and make the righteous secure …”
Seventeen-year-old Ernesto was a good child and active in his church and youth group in El Salvador, but gangs began harassing him. When he refused to join them, they threatened him and his family repeatedly. He dropped out of school to stay home, the only place he felt safe. He decided to pay a guide to take him to the United States, but his family hasn’t heard from him since he left, and the guide still demands money from his family, so they fear that he is dead or detained.
Lord Jesus, we know that You see our needs and make the righteous secure. See the needs of Ernesto and Abdul and other families like theirs who have endured violence and suffering. Provide for them. Comfort them. Let them see Your peace and Your protection in the midst of their pain.
“… you, the righteous God who probes minds and hearts.”
While Ernesto’s whereabouts are unknown, the gang members in his community have threatened that if he does return, his days are numbered. “The extreme levels of violence children suffer in their own country are unimaginable,” says Amanda Rives, advocacy director for World Vision in Latin America.
Good Shepherd, You care for each of Your sheep. Keep children like Ernesto safe and probe the minds and hearts of those who threaten him and other children. Change their thinking so they will turn from their evil ways and do good. Shine Your mighty light of love upon them.
This article was originally posted at World Vision Now.