Persecuted believers understand how the presence of God is a comfort in dark times. When the world doesn’t make sense, when evil surrounds you, when everything you have is taken away, God is still there—and He will never leave you.

Help The Persecuted seeks to be the hands and feet of Jesus, ministering to the needs of those who have suffered because they professed their belief in Him. 

Through the support of the Body of Christ, we want to be the physical expression of God’s care to those who are suffering so that they know He is still with them.

Our sister Nihad has experienced the goodness of God’s presence firsthand. Even when she lost her home and livelihood because of her beliefs, God never left her, and she continues to depend on Him.

God’s Presence in Nihad’s Loss

A widow now living in Syria, Nihad grew up attending church and reading the Bible. As an adult, she prayed and read the Bible with her husband and three children daily and attended a local church. 

After her husband’s sudden death from a heart attack, Nihad was initially angry. His death was a shock for her, and at first she blamed God. Then, her heart softened and she turned to Him and His Word. She prayed for comfort, patience, and peace, and the Lord answered her prayers. She often sang a worship song with the lyrics: “I have nobody but You.” She read certain Bible verses like, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20), and “Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me” (Psalm 27:10), and felt they were speaking to her personally. Nihad gave herself fully to the Lord, replacing her sorrow with joy and prayer. 

God’s Presence in Nihad’s Need

When a terrorist group attacked Nihad’s village, they looted her home and burned it to the ground. They damaged acres of her fruit trees as well, taking away her livelihood. When the village was liberated from this tyranny, Nihad began rebuilding her home. Sadly, it was looted by thieves once again—they even stole doors and windows from the walls and faucets from the sinks. They also stole all the produce from her orchard.

Nihad cannot currently return to her home because it has no electricity or running water. Nor can she afford basic necessities such as food and clothing. She has struggled with depression due to the trauma she has experienced.

Yet, Nihad finds hope in the Lord and comfort in His promise: “I will never leave you or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). She attends a local church and is a member of a prayer group that consists of 13 women. She recently participated in a study of Genesis, and says her goal is to teach and preach the Word of God to her children and grandchildren. 

God’s Presence in Her Future

Nihad owns a piece of farmland that she wants to develop with her adult son Walid, who has experience in farming. The piece of land already has some olive and pomegranate trees, a small building consisting of a tool shed and a small bathroom (looted and damaged by gunmen), a 45-meter-deep well that needs cleaning and restoration, and a water reservoir. Nihad and Walid are planning to plant more olive trees and some fig trees, in addition to seasonal vegetables. Summer crops will include figs, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers, and zucchini. In winter, seasonal produce will include onions, fava beans, and cabbage. They will also produce olive oil and pomegranate molasses. They plan to sell these goods, along with the produce, to friends, relatives, and local shops. 

To get her farm up and running, Nihad needs to repair the well and outbuildings on the farm; to plant olive, pomegranate, and fig trees; and to put in a vegetable garden. Help The Persecuted is partnering with Nihad to repair her home and to make her farm productive once again. Then, her farm will shine as a beacon of hope as she provides foods and jobs to bolster the community. Literally providing good fruit for all to see!

Help The Persecuted is assisting Nihad in restoring what the terrorists took from her through Enduring Livelihood. We are investing in her dream and helping her create a livelihood that can sustain her and others. This is the impact of Enduring Livelihood—to invest in small businesses that provide jobs for persecuted Christians while providing a place of hope and peace in the community.

With your support, Help The Persecuted can give Nihad and others like her a new beginning full of hope.