Hanna (not her real name) is a Christian woman living in Damascus, Syria, with her husband. Hanna and her husband have two young daughters. Hanna works in a school. Over the last few months she has been describing what daily life is like in war-torn Damascus.
The situation keeps getting worse and the war is coming closer and closer. It has been a terrible week for the schools in the Christian area I live in.
Last Monday it was around noon when my husband and I went out from the school to go home. We heard more mortars than usual. While we were walking the streets, we saw a crowd approaching. When it came closer we saw it was a crowd of running and crying fathers and mothers on their way to the school where their children are students. I learned that a mortar had fallen on one of the classrooms of that Christian school. We started running to our home because we didn't feel safe.
Yesterday I had to go to school again. I again heard the sounds of mortars. We heard of more attacks on schools in our area. Parents were calling us (at the school) in panic to make sure that their children were okay.
Then I decided to take all the children to a church. There the entire school started praying. The children like to sing a special song that asks for protection over Syria. So we sang it. They all got on their knees and some started crying.
I saw that the song made them feel more peaceful, less anxious. In the evening one of the mothers of the children called me. She is not very religious herself, but seeing her children pray made a big impression on her. She told me that her children didn't want to stop praying and that there was something very special and very peaceful about them. She saw that praying changed her children.
Today was another horrible day. Many schools were attacked and children died. Our school wasn't attacked, but we didn't have a normal day: We prayed together instead of having lessons.
A former pupil that now goes to another school because she's older came to tell the children about what happened at her school. A mortar fell in her classroom, but it didn't explode. "It's because of your prayers," she said. After we prayed together we sent the children back home and told them to stay there for a few days because it's too dangerous to go to school now. We don't know what the future will be.
The reality is really hard, but we also feel blessed because God is protecting us and giving us what we need. The people that are praying with me are on my mind all the time. When I feel weak, God shows me that I don't have to carry this burden on my own, but that I share it with the people around the world that are praying with me. I am not alone. So please, keep praying. We need your prayers so desperately.