After six years of conflict that led to hundreds of thousands of deaths and over 4.5 million refugees, a more peaceful atmosphere is settling over Aleppo, Syria.
The supply of electricity and the availability of water have increased and, although there are still numerous hardships–from unemployment, to fundamentalism, to corruption – as Fr. Ibrahim Sabbagh, OFM, the pastor of the Latin church, pointed out in his Christmas letter, now people are taking small but sure steps toward a better future.
A few days before Christmas, a group restored the roof of the Church of St. Francis, which had been damaged by a missile, and they installed a new cross on the dome.
After-school and psychological, academic and spiritual counseling programs are underway for over 150 children, and the lighting of the tree and the celebration of Christmas with hundreds of kids are small signs that prove that reconstruction is possible.
“We are living a little better than when we were under missiles, thanks to your prayers and to all the donations you have made for us and our families,” shared Fr. Sabbagh, OFM. “The city is still destroyed and paralyzed from an economic standpoint. Despite all of this, we have a lot of joy in our hearts. Therefore we hope you that you will have the same joy in your hearts and that peace be lasting here in Aleppo, but also in your hearts, in your families and in your countries. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!”
To help support the Franciscan’s efforts in Syria, please click here.
>>Video and content courtesy of Christian Media Center