Lehigh Valley

Allentown pastor narrowly escapes bullets during Syria visit

Allentown pastor narrowly escapes bullets during Syria visit

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Refugees from the war-torn area of Homs, Syria are returning to their homes.

Many are finding they have no home to return to.

But one local pastor is trying to help.

Pastor Gus Al-Khal with Allentown's New Bethany Church is lucky to be alive.

"This is one of the bullets that was shot at my car it was just about 5 inches from my body," said Al-Khal.

Al-Khal just returned from a 28 day humanitarian mission to a war torn area in Syria known as the Christian Valley, where Christians live in the predominantly Sunni country.

Al-Khal says at one point, he was peppered with a barrage of bullets, with one shattering his windshield and lodging in the door jam.

Al-Khal says he was searching for the family members of 75 Lehigh Valley residents.

"We want to see first of all what happened to the Christian in Syria who have lost their home and lost their life and they are refugee in Syria we want to take care of them. But at the same time we find some Muslim family who need help we help everybody,"said Al-Khal.

Al-Khal says he was working closely with other Christian churches and organizations in the area.

He says he has heard stories of kidnappings, be-headings and crucifixions.

But he says now that the country has a new constitution and will hold elections next month.

He has hope for his homeland.

"What is most in need in Syria right now is for leaders to bring stability and peace," said Al-Khal.

Al-Khal says it may take time, but the fact that Syrian refugees are slowly being able to return to their homes is a positive sign.

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