A sight it is. But the real street called straight is located in the work of a small community of sisters who operate, shall we say, under cover. They minister to women who have not walked the straight road of life: prostitutes, unwed mothers, street kids.
The sisters keep a low profile, working to provide guidance, spiritual support and sometimes such basics as clean clothing for women prisoners and the children of those down and out. The simple convent provides sewing lessons as an alternative to the lessons of the street. The day-care program is a lifesaver for hard-pressed families who cannot survive on a single income. And here foundlings, sometimes left in a basket, find love and care.
Behind St. Pauls Gate is a small chapel. Several large ledgers piled up there contain the names of thousands of Christians who have come to Damascus through the years. How many of them, like those I saw, pile out of their coaches at St. Pauls Gate for a quick snapshot, do the sites inside Baab Sharqi and leave. They visit the Christian monuments but fail to meet the Christians. Dont let Christians down.
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Marilyn Raschka is a frequent contributor.
Tags: Syria Christianity Children Damascus Syriac Christians