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prayer continued

I just recieved a forwarded email from Ryan that got sent earlier today. He is ok, but is making his way north from Lebanon to Turkey with a friend. It isn't easy to be a traveling American in that area, so please pray that he will arrive safely in Istanbul. Here is the email I received.

Let me just say that this has been like a dream, well, a nightmare. I haven't slept much since Wednesday. I am, more or less, safe as I made it (barely) to Aleppo, Syria. When things calm down, I will write a longer email and share the whole story. But, basically, I made it up the coast as cities were being bombed behind me. I came here with a Muslim friend. If it weren't for him, I would still be in Lebanon, probably taking refuge in the mountain townof Bcharre. As we passed Jounieh, we saw a large Israeli navy ship. A few hours later, Jounieh was bombed - it is a Christian city with NO ties to Hezbollah. Then we went through Batroun, bombed later, and Tripoli which was bombed earlier that day blocking the road to Syria. We were told thatno taxi would take us and that all roads were closed, destroyed. We managed to get a taxi to Bcharre and convince the driver to find a way to the border. We passed through Tripoli, which seemed calm, but was bombed hours after we passed it. The border was difficult but Ahmad got me through and I stood outside the buildings and did not have to speak or see anyone. The driver let us off before the Lebanese departure border and we had to carry our bags and walk across the bridge down the road with fleeing refugees. Kids surrounding us with rusty wheelbarrows trying to carry our bags. It took about three hours to get through the border and five hours to Aleppo. When we arrived, all the hotels were full and we spent almost three hours driving from place to place. Nobody would take us. Then, we got the only room available, a suite, for $150 a night. They thought we were both Lebanese and changed the price to $250 when they saw I was American. I flipped out, really laid into the guy, and told him our whole story, that we didn't have money, and that my grandmother was Lebanese. We got the room for $150.We turned on the news, CNN wasreporting from the border stationthat we had crossed and therewas a bombingon that road sometimeafter we had been there.I think all exits areclosed now. US embassy still sending me emails saying they are trying to think of ways to get out American citizens, ha. Nobody can get through to them and they haven't helped us at all. Ahmad and I don't feel safe here and most Syrians severely dislike both Lebanese and Americans. I am also a target for kidnapping in this country. Everyone sticking it to us in terms of price and taking advantage of the war. Ahmad risked his life and saved mine. His family lives in a dangerous southern suburb. The apartment building in front of his has been destroyed. He is my brother now and I have to take care of him until he can go back to Lebanon. Steve wanted me to take first flight to USA but I said I can't move anywhere without Ahmad. What am I supposed to do "thanks for saving me, here's some money, good luck!" ? No way. We are going to the Turkish consulate in Aleppo tomorrow. We should be able to get him a visa there and then take a taxi, two hours,to Ankara and then another taxi, three hours, to Istanbul. I won't feel like I can breathe until we are in Turkey. Even then, the war is
still with us until it stops. Ahmad's family is there, my heart is there,...., I can't believe this is happening to Lebanon.

I don't know what we'll do from Turkey. We are just on the run now trying to get from place to place as quickly as possible. We still haven't slept much. After we got to hotel, made quick calls and ate dinner, itwasalready 2:30am. Neither of us slept on the five hour drive to Aleppo. We got a few hours ofrestless sleep between 5am-10am. I will write again when possible. If we get visa early morning tomorrow then I should be in Istanbul by tomorrow night.

Ryan is an amazing guy who would give his life for a friend any day. If anyone I know can make it out safely, it is Ryan. He certainly could use prayer though. Thankfully, Ashley who was in Bethlehem was out of the country in Greece due to a visa issue. I don't know whether she plans on going back into Israel or not.

Whatever side you are on, or if you're indifferent to what is going on, know that my life is affected because my friends lives are affected. Please be in prayer.
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