Syria (MNN) — Syria is a prime example of a compounded crisis — 12 years of civil war followed by economic collapse and a food shortage. Then, the 7.8-magnitude earthquake just two months ago killed over 7,000 Syrians. (Combined with Turkiye, the total quake death toll was over 50,000.)

The barrage of devastating news out of Syria can leave viewers and responders with a dizzying sense of compassion fatigue.

(Photo courtesy of Adrian Swancar/Unsplash)

Compassion fatigue can be defined as “the feeling that you have no more empathy left to give.”

Samuel with Redemptive Stories says, “It’s a coping mechanism that we have in the West. We’d like to be able to disconnect from some of those things, and that’s a natural human response, because we can only take in so much pain. So to be able to engage with this, it requires effort. It requires intentionality. It requires engagement.”

An antidote to compassion fatigue is meaningful engagement in the story with eyes to see how God is moving.

There is some good news coming out of Syria as Samuel describes how God has used Syrian believers as His ambassadors to quake survivors.

“The Church responded with compassion. They responded with togetherness across denominational walls, and an ecumenical spirit that really showed what the Church is supposed to be in times of crisis,” says Samuel.

“They gave of their own resources before they even had resources from the outside, which, again, if anyone who knows the understanding of the realities of Syria, not many people have much right now.”

Praise God for activating His Church in Syria! It’s already producing a harvest of righteousness.

Samuel says, “There’s continuing to be an openness, particularly among Muslims and people of different faiths, as they see the church respond.”

(Photo courtesy of Horizons International)

We’ll end on a good story Samuel shares from Syria:

“There was a young lady, she’s 17-years-old and she was in the earthquake and her parents were in the other room. She got down on her knees as soon as everything started shaking because she knew she couldn’t get out. As she got down on her knees, she began to pray.

“The whole building collapsed. Her parents were able to get out with her younger brother because they were in the front and they got down the stairs, but the top roof collapsed onto her room.

“As she says in the story, there was this man dressed in white that actually caught the beam and placed it on the ground. She was actually able to be protected under this building’s space. As she was sitting there praying, she saw this man standing there.

“She’s a believer and she understood Who this was that had protected her. But she wanted to make sure everyone else knew, and so she was beginning to tell this story to all of her friends — Muslim and Christian — about this man all dressed in white who protected her and saved her. I’m sure that God is going to do some amazing things in that young lady’s life.”


Header photo courtesy of Ahmed Akacha/Pexels.