In the “Wizard of Oz,” young Dorothy is stranded in a land far from her home in Kansas. Over the course of the story, she realizes how wonderful her home is, and she longs desperately to return. In the end, all she has to do is click together the heels of her magical, ruby slippers and repeat, “There’s no place like home.”
Home is supposed to be the place where we feel safe. It’s where our family is. It’s where we keep our most precious belongings. It’s where we return after long trips or simply long days at the office. And when crisis strikes our lives, home is the place we run to.
But for refugees in Syria, home is no longer a safe place. Over the past several weeks, attacks on Syrian neighborhoods have driven another 300,000 people from their homes. Hundreds have been killed, and the numbers continue to rise.
Today, June 20, is World Refugee Day, a day when we pause to reflect on the millions around the world who have been forced to leave their homes because of violence or natural disaster. We remember these men, women, and children, and we do whatever we can to make sure they remain safe as they try to build new lives.
Saba can relate to the Syrian refugees who have been fleeing in the wake of recent bombings. At the age of 28, Saba was forced to leave her own home in neighboring Iraq. Several months’ pregnant, she should have been home, anticipating the birth of her precious baby. Instead, she was running for her life. ISIS had attacked her safe haven.
We’ve changed Saba’s name to protect her because she is still a refugee and still worries she is in danger.
Can you imagine being uprooted from the only life you’ve ever known? Can you imagine losing your one place of safety and security?
When Saba gave birth, she was terrified. She didn’t have diapers, clothes, or formula to care for her newborn. In the crowded refugee camps, she could barely find food, much less baby items or medical attention. Like so many refugees, she was on her own.
Another refugee, whom we’ll call Adila, was in a similar situation. The mother of three was forced to leave her home in Mosul after brutal attacks nearly destroyed the city. She and her small children fled for their lives, unsure of whether or not her husband survived the attacks.
Alone, Adila struggled to find work in the camps, but jobs are scarce. In most places, the camp officials provide just a small amount of food rations for families. At night, Adila would go to bed hungry and dream about returning home, dream about finding her husband.
Would those dreams ever come true? Would her family survive long enough for a chance to go home to Mosul?
Life for a single mother can be difficult enough, but for a mother living in a refugee camp, it’s nearly impossible. But it isn’t just women who face the constant fight for survival.
One refugee father told our partners he was doing everything he could to keep his family alive. The rations in the camp weren’t enough, so he was taking any odd jobs and work he could find.
“Our life is miserable,” he said. “I was doing construction work for $8.40 a day. You tell me, can a family of six or seven live on $8.40 a day?”
This month, as bombings in Syria escalated, thousands of families joined the ranks of refugees with Sabia, Adila, and this father who is desperate to provide for his children.
They don’t know when they will return home … or what they will be returning to when they do. But that’s a worry for another day. Today, they are simply concerned with surviving. They need emergency supplies like food, water, and medical aid.
And when you help give to supply this aid today, your gift will multiply. For just $35, you will provide $189 worth of critical, lifesaving necessities to a refugee.
Your $35 will help transform the life of a refugee — for today, and also for eternity. As partners on the ground distribute the aid you have given, they will have the opportunity to show Christ’s love and share the Gospel with unbelievers.
Not to mention … your gift multiplies 5X! When you give to help rescue refugees, your gift is combined with grants and physical donations, multiplying your impact so you help even more people.
Your gift can be the difference between life and death. Today, on World Refugee Day, remember to pray for these men, women, and children and give what you can to help. You can remind a refugee that he isn’t alone.