One topic in today’s media that needs no introduction is the global refugee crisis. The need is so great that it can be overwhelming to many of us. Even the most watchful eyes can become blind to noticing the eyes staring back at us in refugees’ photos. Our compassion can become almost immune or numb to the reality of displaced people forced to find a new place to live.
The rhetoric has gone on so long it now simply blends in with all the other stories on the news. But let us be reminded of the people still living in this crisis.
Countless families are being forced to flee their homes each day. More than 65 million people worldwide are refugees, and 50 million of them are children. This number is still growing.
Resources like EarthTime help us visualize and put those big numbers into perspective. But we can’t forget every dot on that map represents real men, women, and children — just like you and me.
Can you imagine living under such horrible conditions that you feel forced to pick up what’s left of your family and a few belongings and flee? Can you imagine trying to muster the strength to walk for days to find any kind of relief possible?
Think about the essentials you need to survive:
• Food and water
• Medical support
• Shelter and protection from harm
When I attempt to identify with the needs of a refugee, I think of things like what would I do if I had an awful toothache or a pounding headache. Usually, I would take medicine to help ease the pain. If the ache returned, I would see a doctor. But refugees don’t have those options.
I think of traveling and enduring the bitter, cold air with my weakened and weary children … or walking for hours in the humidity and hot sun. I’m so grateful for shelter and air conditioning!
I think of the deep sigh of relief and that final burst of energy that might come when I see the line of tents in the distance along the border. As I neared a medical truck with people passing out supplies, would I cry out for them to notice me?
I think of all the refugees around the world today who are hoping that someone will notice them and help.
Since the refugee crisis has been going on for years now, some people may assume there’s less urgency to send aid. But that would be far from the truth. The persecution of innocent civilians, who are forced to flee their homes, is still in effect in many regions — and you can help them.
Syria continues to be the No. 1 country that refugees are fleeing from.
Since the Syrian civil war began, World Help and its global partners have taken action to bring aid to refugees on the borders. They work hard to determine the most immediate needs. And thanks to the generosity of compassionate donors, they are able to be the hands and feet of Jesus on the ground, distributing food, medical supplies, and other lifesaving items.
I remember reading the stories of Syrian refugee families. The call to action was clear and motivating.
In 2016, Dr. Kathy Sarantos, a World Help board member, and her husband, Dr. Peter Sarantos, asked me if I’d like to help put together a race to raise support for World Help’s efforts to aid in the refugee crisis. We immediately jumped into action. We built a race website, gathered information, and reached out to volunteers. For two consecutive years, the race was dedicated to this cause and raised enough funds to help around 570 refugees!
It showed me that anyone can make a difference — whether you put together a race in your area, make a donation when you can, or believe in the power of prayerful intercession.
So pray … ask God what still needs to be done and how He would have you to give. All it takes is $35 to help meet the needs of one refugee.
Pray for the leaders of nations struggling to accommodate millions of refugees who have fled from neighboring countries. Pray for people living in war zones with bombs going off around them. Pray for the refugees still running and struggling to make it to safety. And finally, pray for World Help and its partners as they continue to meet the needs around the world.