Here are some recent headlines in the news.....
"Unprecedented Human Migration"
"Deaths mount, no end in sight to EU refugee crisis"
"The innocent victims of Europe's migrant crisis: Syrian children...."
"The worst humanitarian disaster of our time"
The countries of Iraq and Syria have been ravaged by war and the unfathomable barbarianism of ISIS desiring to create a caliphate, a state governed by Islamic law. Their march to greater power and territory have destroyed the lives of hundreds of thousands. They are using horrific means to reach their goals: the beheading of children, burning people alive, rape, trafficking, slavery, giving young women and girls to their fighters, and unfortunately this is just the start. They are selling young women and children for a pack of cigarettes. This is inhumane. They walk the streets of cities throughout Iraq and Syria stating "Convert or Die". You have three choices 1) leave 2) pay a large tax or 3) suffer and die.
Unfortunately for many in our world, this is only something that we read about on the internet and see videos of on the nightly news. It is nothing more than that. Today, I want to challenge you to look beyond the news articles and videos and look into the eyes of the refugees. Let their stories change the way you think. Let their pain and suffering move you to action. We can't sit idly anymore. What will history say about us if we continue to allow them to suffer? This is not a governmental or political problem, this is our problem. Typically it would be said "we must do something...", but I am afraid that everyone thinks that someone else is going to do it. So I will boldly say..... YOU MUST do something!!!
Last week you saw the picture of the 3 year old child lying dead on the beach in Turkey. What if that was your son? What if your family had been threatened by ISIS? What if you had to leave your home, all your belongings, everything you worked for all of your life (house, cars, jewelry, furniture, etc) in less than a few hours? You had to walk (or possibly run) miles and miles to get out of town or else you were assured of death or your children or wife being kidnapped or raped. Once you arrived to a place of safety you had to sleep on the streets night after night just hoping a shelter or church would take you in. You had to beg, borrow or steal food for your family. You asked everyone you knew for money so that you could get on a plane or take a taxi to the nearest country so that you could be safe, thinking life would get better. Once you arrived to the new country you would find out that everything is much more expensive than your own country and you cannot work a job legally to provide for your family. Once again you are left at the mercy of friends or area churches that would provide the help that they are able to give.
Over this last year my family has gone into the homes of countless Iraqi and Syrian refugees and heard similar stories over and over again. Each time it has broken my heart. It is disturbing each time to hear these stories. It sends chills down my spine many times as I think, "what if that was my family?".
One family shared with us that they had to flee their home in Mosul from ISIS in the middle of the night with only the clothes on their back. Their two girls were so traumatized that they would wet their pants day after day. Unfortunately this was just the beginning. The horrific memory of this night has not stopped, it continues even to this day. While on a roof with their 5 year old daughter hearing a loud firework explode, she said, "It's ok... we're not in Iraq".
Last week I was in the home of a family of 3 brothers, their wives and 7 children living together. They have been in Jordan for one year. Their 7 children had not eaten in 2 days because they had no money to feed them.
One of my best friends who just turned 30 years old last week was so desperate for a better life that he gathered some money from relatives to make the long and dangerous journey to Germany. He first flew to Istanbul and then took a bus to Bodrum on the Southern Coast. There he waited almost a week before he could get on a 27-foot boat with nearly 50 others on the boat. Ten of them were small children and one of the women was far along in her pregnancy. Halfway through the trip their boat began to take on water. God saved them. So far there have been over 2,500 people who have died making this 3 hour boat ride. After arriving on the Greek Island of Kos he has been stranded and not been able to get to Athens. Because of the chaos in Europe the EU are in meetings at the time of this writing and the plight of the refugees is not known. Our friend does not know if he will ever make it to Germany or if he will possibly be sent back to Iraq where he has many times been told if he comes back to Iraq they will kill him.
This is not a Christian or Muslim issue. These are not "just refugees". These are dads, moms and children just like us. They are no different than us except for the fact that they were born in a different place than we were and neither of us had a choice in that. These are OUR brothers and sisters, these are OUR moms and dads and these are OUR children. YOU MUST do something to help them.....
3 Ways You Can Help:
- Pray. Yes, this is always at the top of the list, but it is always the most important. We MUST pray for them. Pray for God's protection, strength and provisions.Pray that they will all seek and come to know True Hope and Peace. Take 5 minutes each day to pray for these hurting families.
- Give. Every day we have refugees asking us for more than what we can possibly do for them. They need help to pay medical bills, diapers and formula for children, food, and shelter. They need simple items like fans to keep cool in the summer (it was 100 degrees here today). They need blankets and heaters for the cold winter months and gas bottles (it snows here in the winter time), used stoves and refrigerators to cook for their family. These are all simple things we take for granted but many have no means to purchase. To learn more about how you can help to meet some of the refugees most basic needs, you can click here.
CHALLENGE: 1,000 families giving $100 will provide $100,000 to those in need. Some of you can do more! You can give a one-time gift or recurring throughout the year. Don't delay... please make your donation TODAY!
Global Partners is serving refugees every day in the Middle East and has been for the last 12 years. We are in their homes throughout the week, we are a part of their lives. We have become family. 95% of the funds that you give go directly to help both Syrian and Iraqi refugee families in need, the remaining 5% is used to help cover administrative costs for GPPD.
Our goal is to raise $100,000 by December 31st to continue to help refugee families in desperate need.
- Advocate. Please share this message with your friends and family. Let them know that Global Partners is an organization that they can trust and that is truly impacting the lives of refugees in need. Share with them about this crisis situation and encourage them to get involved! One of the cool things we have created for you to use is our "Refugee Sunday" kit to use in churches and sunday school classes. Visit this webpage to see how you can host an event.
Thank you for partnering with us to bring help and hope to dads, moms and innocent children in this crisis situation. When history looks back on this crisis I hope that you will be able to stand and say.....
"I DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT"!
Published on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 @ 6:25 PM CDT