By Rachel Shussett, Presbyterian News Service.
Marilyn Borst spoke about the work being done through the church in Syria and Iraq at the July 18 opening evening meeting of the New Wilmington Mission Conference. The overwhelming message of her talk was “Christ wins,” a theme that echoed throughout the twenty minutes she spoke.
“This trajectory of faith that Paul lays out, that we rejoice in our suffering because suffering produces perseverance and perseverance produces character and character hope, and hope does not disappoint us,” Borst said. “The trajectory that Paul, when he wrote about that, was probably not thinking about the church of New Wilmington nor was he thinking about the church of North Avenue where I’m from…he was thinking of the church in places like Syria and Lebanon and Egypt and Iraq.”
Borst continued to speak about Syria and the glimpses of hope and faith she has seen in the country that contains only 18 Presbyterian churches and 9 ordained pastors. With half of the country’s population displaced, she said there is much turmoil due to war and the threat of ISIS and civil war.
Borst had words of encouragement for those in the struggle and those who support them: “Who has remained in place in Syria? What has remained in place in Syria? The church has remained in place in Syria.”