Syria: Help and Hope in a war zone

Sister Annie certainly keeps her Guardian Angel busy.

Travelling about the bomb-blasted Syrian city of Aleppo, the 49-year-old Religious of Jesus and Mary (RJM) Sister provides urgent ACN aid – food, electricity, clothes, shoes and winter fuel – for thousands of people in Aleppo and Hassake. She coordinates a group of volunteers – young men and women who go from house to house, assessing people’s needs and distributing relief.

Sister Annie says: “We are surrounded by the rebels. You don’t know when a bomb might land on you.”

On one home visit, Sister Annie met Adib Elias Matouk and his wife, Marsel Batikha, both in their 70s. Sister found the couple sleeping on the floor in their flat because they had sold their bed to pay for winter fuel.

“The first thing we did was to buy them a new bed and to give them a subsidy for an electricity generator. “One of my group was doing a visit when a bomb landed – he hid in one building and then continued visiting families.

The volunteer has got family but he told me: ‘Don’t  worry, Sister. I will be ok.’ “When we carry out visits and give aid, we pray – we need to speak about the presence of Christ in out lives and say that in spite of the difficulties and sufferings there is God. In spite of everything we need to thank God.”

Sister Annie added: “In the name of hundreds of families and children, we say thank you because you entered into the houses and the hearts of many; because you feed hundreds of hungry families; because you warm many homes and hearts of those who feel cold; because hundreds of pairs of shoes protect hundreds of children from the harsh winter; because through you, we could help to heal many wounded people.”

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