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A priest’s sacrifice


Wasim* and his family escaped Syria, but not without first enduring injustices and horrific abuse. The family has now settled in a different part of the Middle East and is trying to rebuild their lives.

Eli* and Rachel*, TMS Global workers serving in the Middle East, work in a medical clinic for refugees. Jeff*, a doctor at the clinic, met Wasim and his family while treating them. Jeff, Eli, and Rachel began to visit Wasim’s family regularly.

Rachel and other followers of Jesus meet with the women of the household over cups of tea. Together they share stories, listen to the family’s burdens, share scripture verses, and pray.

Eli, Jeff, and other men in the community sit with Wasim and talk. As Jeff was visiting Wasim one day, he recounted a harrowing story.

Wasim and his family were running from Syrian soldiers and fled to a church. The priest hid them underground. When Wasim and his family emerged, the priest had been executed. He had refused to tell the soldiers where Wasim’s family was hiding.

After hearing the story, Jeff said, “You are Muslim, and I am Christian, which means that we are both sons of Abraham. This Christian brother in Syria [the priest] believed that Jesus died on the cross, and that Jesus gave His life in exchange for the priest’s life. Because he believed that Jesus died for him, the priest was willing to die for you. He did not have to hide you or refuse to tell the soldiers where you were. He could have given you up to them and saved himself, but he did not. Jesus’ death has given you life through this man and his faith.”

Wasim has discussed issues of faith with Eli, Jeff, and the other men. Wasim has watched some videos that they suggested, but often he is closed to the idea of Jesus as God’s Son. Jeff said, “Wasim lives daily remembering the trauma, injustices, and tortures he has seen and experienced.”

Wasim’s wife and daughters are more open to discussing Jesus and asking for prayer. Jeff said, “Please pray that Wasim would sit with his children and wife around him, reading and sharing the Good News with them to the glory of God.”

*Names changed for security