Talked to my brother and sister in Syria today. Pretty happy to get through to both of them on the same day. Doesn’t happen very often. My sister is at her in-laws right now. There’s not enough heating oil available so she and her family are staying there. The weather in Amar is much like the weather in Oregon, hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Usually a little hotter and colder though. I’m thinking about how cold it is in Oregon today and how I can easily stay warm, with my virtually unlimited supply of natural gas, and worrying about whether or not they’re able to actually stay warm or just able to avoid freezing.
My niece had a son last month. I’ve been trying to call her since, but haven’t been able to get through. She lives in another village, about 45 minutes away from Amar. There’s no rebels, or foreign fighters in the valley since the army came and removed them all at the beginning of 2014, which is good. And my nephew can attend college in Homs and stay in their house in the city at night. Which is also good. Food and everything else, including electricity, continues to be sporadically available and very, very expensive. Most days, people have two to four hours electricity, if they have it at all.
I was able to send some money to my family last month after the bake sale I held. Thank you to everyone who came and bought food and shared the day with me and my friends. In the New Year I’m going to have a kibbe making class to raise money again. I’ll post details here later.
If you pray, please pray for the safety of the Syrian people and an end to the war. If you’re politically active, please continue to contact our government and demand they stop funding all fighters against the Syrian government. Demand the US stop trying to force “regime change.” Congress just approved a $585 BILLION defense bill that authorizes arming and training Syrian rebels.
If only the government of Syria can stay in power and the rebels and other fighters be defeated, Syria and her people, and my family, will have a chance to survive and live a good life again. And I’ll have a chance to go and see my family again.