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If you’ve been paying attention to the world outside of the United States at all the last few weeks, you’ve undoubtedly been heartbroken by images like these of the men, women, and children fleeing the destitution of Syrian refugee camps and risking their lives to find one worth living. If you know nothing about the Syrian refugee crisis, I encourage you to learn about it quickly and easily here.
I have been obviously saddened over this, but when it comes to horrific tragedies like this that are taking place half way around the world, I often feel useless because I can’t just pack up and rescue these refugees myself. If you feel like I do, fear not, there are plenty of ways you can get involved and help Syrian refugees. Here are just three:
I know, it seems trite and patronizing, but it’s really not. Prayer sometimes seems like an easy way out of doing anything, but that’s only when we doubt its power. When you think about the power of prayer and the ways in which God works through the petitions of his people, prayer hardly seems like a cop out.
If you’re a Christian, you have the ability to enter the throne room of the king of creation and ask for help on behalf of millions of hurting families fleeing violence. It is our divine responsibility to go to the Lord in prayer for these people. Before you help the refugees with money or anything else, first pray, and then pray throughout any other sort of assistance you might give.
In a posture of prayer, we acknowledge our weakness before God and commit our small work to his grand work.
I’m thankful for this website from Ann Voskamp I saw via Sharon Hodde Miller. It is s great resource to get involved.
Here’s a bit from the home page of WeWelcomeRefugees.com:
This is a moment in history.
The world is facing the worst refugee crisis since WWII.
7.6 MILLION SYRIANS ARE DISPLACED WITHIN THE COUNTRY, AND 3.8 MILLION HAVE SOUGHT REFUGE IN OTHER COUNTRIES. THE UNHCR’S LATEST FIGURES SHOW THE CRISIS IS GETTING WORSE. FAMILIES ARE MOVING NOT TO SIMPLY BETTER THEIR LIVES, BUT TO LITERALLY SAVE THEIR LIVES.
This is a place for you to say: We Welcome Refugees - and get to live out those words. A place for your church, your people, your community, to have a practical, tangible, real way to welcome in the stranger in Christ’s name, a place hosted by World Relief, The Justice Conference, and Ann Voskamp, with more partners to be added soon. (If you are already Welcoming Refugees and would like to partner with us, click on the link below or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
We’ve seen the heart-stopping photographs. And we know that the Love of God, for such a time as now, will not be stopped.
We’re profoundly moved by this historic crisis — and we are moved to Kingdom action.
And the Church, moved to action, can be God’s answer to untold prayers, to bring grace and justice and redemption in a situation that can seem impossible.
We need your commitment to leverage other aspects of this initiative - sign up today and commit to be involved.
Note: This is a developing movement and as we identify practical actions in the days and weeks ahead, we will provide tangible ways for you and your church to support refugees, and partner with churches on the front-lines of this humanitarian crisis.
WeWelcomeRefugees.com is your answer to Jesus when He said: “I was a stranger and you welcomed Me in.” - Matthew 25:35
The website serves as a helpful collection of many of the most direct ways you can help with the Syrian refugee crisis. Please consider getting involved, and thank God for people like Sharon who are willing to step up and do this sort of thing.
You are able to give your money to the Syrian refugee crisis in a number of ways, but I first happened upon World Relief and know them to be a reliable organization, so that’s the one I recommend.
Here’s a bit about what World Relief is doing:
World Relief is helping children and youth who have been separated from their families during the crisis and are in danger of being trafficked. Through our office in Jordan, and in partnership with local organizations and churches, we are providing non-food items (hygiene kits, cooking utensils, bedding/blankets) to displaced Syrian refugee families and their host families. We are also in the process of launching an office in Turkey to support its burgeoning population of Syrian refugees.
World Relief and churches across the US have been partnering for more than 35 years to resettle refugees in more than 26 cities. Through rigorous background, security, and medical checks, just over 1,000 vulnerable Syrian refugees have been welcomed into the US in the last year with thousands more expected in coming years. Churches are on the forefront of their welcome, following Jesus simple command to “welcome the stranger.” Resettlement challenges are immense for these newly arriving families including: learning a new language, adjusting to a new culture, earning gainful employment, placing their kids in schools, and providing for their own physical, emotional, and psychological loss.
Also, one of the cool things World Relief is doing is giving “the gift of of education” by providing backpacks for Syrian refugee children. I love this, and am seriously considering giving to this initiative myself. Click here to provide the gift of education to Syrian children.
I hope this has encouraged you a little bit and has shown you ways you can tangibly get involved in supporting the Syrian refugees. I have never been adamant enough about social justice and working to help the poor, and maybe you feel you haven’t been either. Prayerfully consider taking action on behalf of the Syrian refugees, even if it’s just praying for them each day.