Today is World Refugee Day, a day set aside to remember those forced to flee their homes due to civil, political, and religious unrest.
In 2015, a record-breaking 60 million people are displaced worldwide—8 million more than in 2014—and half of them are women and children.
But tragically, fleeing from persecution or violence is often just the beginning of a refugee’s hardships. The average displacement of a refugee is 17 years, meaning for thousands and thousands of children, a refugee camp is the only home they will know growing up.
Several weeks ago, our international development team met Sufyan, a refugee living with 12 family members in a crude, unfinished home in the Kurdistan region of Shaqlawa, Iraq. ISIS literally sent them running from their home in Mosul with only the clothes on their backs. After reaching the mountainous community of Shaqlawa, they were unprepared for what their new refugee status would bring.
When we spoke to him, Sufyan was overcome with discouragement. Before the conflict in Iraq erupted, he owned three homes and was a successful pharmacist. Today, he has no form of income to pay rent or even feed his family. His children have fallen sick and have suffered without medical attention, paralyzing him with fear.
He dreams of returning home and providing his family with stability once again . . . though this does not seem likely as the conflict throughout the Middle East enters its fifth year.
With the help of generous supporters, we were able to provide Sufyan and 105 other families in Shaqwala with three truckloads of food and critical provisions.
“Please pray for us,” he asked solemnly as our team prepared to leave.
Life for millions of refugees is volatile, traumatizing . . . and fraught with hopelessness.
Today, on World Refugee Day, we’re asking you to do for Middle Eastern refugees what you would for your own family. We’re asking you to acknowledge their pain, and to pray and act on behalf of broken families like Sufyan’s. For a relatively modest amount, we can share incredible hope . . .
- A gift of $35 provides a refugee with food, relief supplies, medical attention, educational support, and rehabilitation.
- A gift of $210 provides 6 refugees with food, relief supplies, medical attention, educational support, and rehabilitation.
- A gift of $2,100 provides 60 refugees with food, relief supplies, medical attention, educational support, and rehabilitation.
Join us today in declaring: “You are not forgotten. You belong. There is hope.”