Comforting Syria's children: 'Despite the bad things happening, God is still good and worthy of praise'
Christians who have chosen to remain in Syria are faithful but also full of weeping and mourning over the deaths of so many innocent people, including children.
Tuesday saw a devastating bombing on a school in Damascus that has left one Christian woman living in the city, Hanna, full of grief at the sight of more bloodshed.
The civil war, which has claimed at least 120,000 lives shows no sign of ending any time soon.
Hanna lives in war-torn Damascus with her husband and two young daughters, and works in a school.
She lives by faith but admits that the reality of war is taking its toll. She shared the following report via contacts of Open Doors in Syria:
While I'm telling you this (Wednesday), we're in the middle of a bombing. My husband and two girls just saw one bomb falling down over 200 yards from our house. We hurried downstairs to be safer.
A mortar falling down sounds like a very strong voice near you; it's the same pressure. We don't know what will happen in five minutes, or even one minute. One moment you're here, the next moment you can be gone. A few days ago my relative was preparing Easter snacks in the kitchen when suddenly her life was over; a bomb fell through her apartment. We didn't find her body.
I want to tell you about Tuesday. It was a terrible day. We cried and prayed all day. Tuesday they were bombing Bab Touma, the old city of Damascus. A lot of Christians live there. There is also a Christian school -- a private one. We know a lot of people in that school. Some children from our area also go to school there.
When those kids went to school on Tuesday, gathered at the square like they always do, a mortar fell in their midst. Some friends passed by the school and saw that parents and teachers were carrying their wounded children out of the school, dripping with blood. They saw them running to the hospitals in panic. For me, as a mother and a teacher, I can hardly bear to imagine what these people must be going through right now.
Twelve people lost their lives in that school, most of them children from the elementary school. Many more of them have lost arms and legs or have other injuries.
In our school we gathered the children to pray for the victims. I told the children: no matter what bad things are happening around us, our God is still good; even if we're in danger of death, our God is still good and worthy of praise. So we raised our hands and started worshipping God. The parents of one of our Muslim pupils were present while we did that, and they were so impressed they said: "Our child is safe here. He is under the protection of God."
God is here, but I'm getting so tired. Tired of praying. Tired of crying. Sometimes it seems like there is no end to all this misery. I know God is in control, but sometimes I feel so hopeless. I regularly fall on my knees and cry out to Him about why all of this is happening.
I praise God that He is protecting me and my family. Prayer gives me strength; it's a weapon in the spiritual battle that's going on here.
Right now, I still hear mortars falling down, but a little further away. The place where the mortar came down near our house is still smoking. The people are already moving as usual on our street. Bombings are slowly becoming a normal part of our daily lives here. We live in such a strange time now, you can't imagine.