It was just two years ago that the world was riveted by a the sight of a little boy face down on a beach, one of millions who were rushing to flee terror, bedlam and war in the Middle East. From Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and others they banged on Europe’s door, lining up against the barbed wire fence, braving treacherous seas.
Perhaps they read about freedom in a book. Or they saw it in a movie. Or heard it from a friend. And there was a single moment when a mother or a father or a family decided they had enough and left everything.
Do you remember the scene? The humanity scrabbling. The death. The suffering. The world wringing it’s hands? I was so moved that I went to the Middle East to see and tell the stories of Christians being persecuted.
But now, it seems a memory, even to me. And I have no excuse. looked in their eyes. I heard their stories first-hand. I saw the tears. I wrote stories that were shared around the world and they are etched in my heart. If I am forgetting, what is the rest of the world doing?
That’s why I appreciate the International Refugee Day. It gives us a chance to remember.
The situation now
It’s true that Iraq has somewhat stabilized, as many locals have returned home. There are still ISIS strongholds and many towns have been destroyed. But they are rebuilding. Many Christians and other minorities continue to suffer, but the constant cloud of death has dissipated.
Syria, however is a different story.
There is an international effort to create a safe zone to protect the 12.5 million displaced Syrians. Many of them are in Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan.
Persecution continues. Bombings continue. The Civil War is still as chaotic as ever.
That’s why I’m headed back to the region, to help give aid to the Syrians still trying to escape. They’ll leave their homes with nothing and faced with a long winter, they’ll need food, warm bedding and clothing.
I intend to go tell their stories, to give voice to their cries. But I don’t want to come empty- handed. I don’t want to be a gawker, someone who tear at the emotions without doing something about the pain.
Won’t you help me, as a my friend or even as a stranger, as friends in this effort?
Our goal is to bring $10,000 of winter supplies to this region, helping hundreds of families.
On this, Internal Refugee Day, won’t you consider helping? And if you could share this with your friends, you could help spread the word.
The link is here