By Vernon Brewer
Almost a year ago, I was huddled in a tent with refugees I had met on the Syrian border.
Now, I’m back again … and I’m still just as overwhelmed by the stories I hear and the needs I see. I’m more convinced than ever before that we — as the body of Christ — can’t forget the plight of these refugees. We have to step up to help children like Omar.
I met Omar while visiting the mobile medical clinic near the border. He and his family had traveled several miles to come for the day’s food distribution.
That food distribution was the answer to some desperate prayers.
You see, what little money Omar’s family is able to scrape together each month is only enough to go toward just one need. And they have to choose which need it will be: Food to fill their empty stomachs? Medical care for the illnesses the kids always seem to get? Coats and warm clothes to protect them from the cold at night?
How do you choose which need is more important? How do you choose the right one to help save your child’s life?
It is an impossible choice, and one that refugees like Omar and his family face every day.
Refugee families are desperate for help so they won’t need to make such heartbreaking choices.
They need crucial supplies like food, warm blankets for the winter, and medical care ranging from emergency treatment to a simple, but critical flu shot. Most of all, they need hope.
I’ve seen what a difference hope can make.
There’s a young woman working at the mobile clinic whose story is a beautiful example of it. I first met Aria on a previous trip; you can read more about her story here.
The Aria I met then was depressed, sad, and beginning to shut down and shut others out. She had been injured when a bomb hit her home, and the pain and humiliation she suffered from her scars was overwhelming her.
But the Aria I met on this trip was a completely different person. Because of generous donations, she had received much-needed surgery … and she was also able to hear about Jesus for the first time. Now, she is a believer, and her joy is contagious. She helps out at the mobile clinic pharmacy and is quick to share about Jesus with anyone she meets.
That’s what true transformation is all about. And it’s why we must not forget refugees like Aria and Omar.
The refugee crisis may seem like an overwhelming problem. It may seem like it’s too far away for you to do anything to help. But as I stand beside a smiling, healthy Aria, and hand a bag much needed food to Omar’s parents, I have to disagree.
You can rescue a refugee from right where you are.
You can be the hands and feet of Jesus to someone in need.
Vernon Brewer is the founder and CEO of World Help, a Christian humanitarian organization serving the physical and spiritual needs of people in impoverished communities around the world. To learn more about how you can help refugees this Christmas, click here.