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From the Field3 min read


Putting Matthew 25 into action on the Syrian border

Vernon Brewer
Nov 20, 2019

Every time I travel to the refugee camps on the Syrian border, I think about the words of Jesus. I think about how, time and time again, He commanded us to love others and care for the least of these.

Who are the least of these? They are anyone who needs our help. They are refugees like Mara and her six children.

I’ve changed Mara’s name for her own safety. She has been a refugee for seven years now, but before the war, she was a farmer. Mara lived close to her extended family. Together, they raised goats, cows, and sheep. Her life was good, and she was happy.

Then the attacks came. After seeing violent shootings near their home, Mara’s family ran for their lives. There was no time to gather supplies. They left with nothing — no food, no money, and no way to make a living.

For a while, the family settled in with one of Mara’s cousins. They had just begun to rebuild their lives — Mara was even pregnant again and hopeful for the future — but the violence followed them. Their home was raided. Mara was separated from much of her family, and in the process, she suffered a miscarriage.

She was heartbroken and had nowhere to go.

Since then, Mara has reunited with much of her family. However, every day is a struggle to survive in the refugee camp. Although she no longer fears daily raids or shootings, she is still afraid.

Two of her six children have developed severe health problems. Her 4-year-old needs surgery to improve her vision and hearing, and her 11-year-old has a serious nervous system disorder. Mara can’t afford the medical help they need.

“We suffer a lot, and we’re used to that,” Mara said. “But without medications for the children, it’s just too much.”

Mara’s family has little to call their own. And when I think of the least of these, I think of families like hers. I think of parents waiting in long lines, hoping to get just a little bit of food for their starving children. I think of precious little kids, suffering from injuries that could be easily treated — but won’t be unless someone helps.

Today, I had the privilege of helping distribute much-needed food, medical kits, and warm winter clothing to several groups of refugees. I wish you were here with me so you could see firsthand the joy that these simple gifts bring to families like Mara’s. I’ll never forget the smiles on the faces of children I met as I handed them a brightly colored winter hat.

When you’ve lost everything, even the smallest gifts are a source of hope.

Imagine how much your $35 gift — which provides $189 worth of food, medical care, warm clothing, blankets and more — will mean to a refugee like Mara. You will help save a refugee’s life and help him or her prepare for the brutal winter ahead.

And thanks to a generous matching gift, your donation will DOUBLE up to $80,000 — allowing you to help rescue 2X as many refugees.

People like Mara are desperate for help. Will you be the hands and feet of Jesus to the least of these today?


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