So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)

The war in Syria has been going on now for more than six years. More than 6 million people are displaced inside Syria and some 4.2 million more are refugees in surrounding countries. Some 400,000 people have been killed.

This issue of A Common Place is about education, but for Syrian refugees in Lebanon, it is difficult to escape the war.

Nisrine Issa’s hope for her daughters in Syria was for a good education, but that was before the bombings began.

Today, House of Light and Hope, an MCC-supported education center in Beirut, Lebanon, is helping Nisrine’s daughters move beyond what they saw in Syria and giving them a new chance to learn. The girls’ father, Mahmoud, says they are smiling more and happier.

Recently, Dr. Riad Jarjour, president of MCC partner organization Forum for Development, Culture and Dialogue, shared with me the difference MCC’s support is making in the lives of Syrians, and he gave me a cypress wood carving with, “Thanks for your love” carved in Arabic on the base.

This message is better meant for you and other MCC supporters. With your gifts and prayers, we’ve been at work inside Syria and in neighboring countries since the crisis began, and we will continue. It is difficult to sustain that kind of commitment but you are helping us do it.

Stories in this issue from Lebanon, Syria, Cambodia, Tanzania and Colombia demonstrate again how MCC’s work of relief, development and peace are related and intertwined.

We can’t grow weary of doing good. We will reap if we don’t give up. Thanks for your love.

J Ron Byler
MCC U.S. Executive Director