The image of the three-year-old Syrian refugee washing up on the shore of Turkey is seared into my mind. He was just months older than my daughter. My heart is stirred with grief and my conscience is paralyzed by the gravity of the need. What can I do? How can I help? Will my donation make a difference? These questions flood my mind and aren’t entirely answered. But I do know that we can help.
We can give
There are numerous ways and organizations you can contribute to. The Baptist Global Response has been working since the crisis began to raise funds and meet needs in refugee camps and with displaced Syrians in multiple countries. Certainly consider making a donation today through Baptist Global Response.
We can go (send)
The Psalms echo time and again that the LORD is a place of refuge and strength, comfort and protection – for those who call upon Him. But what about those who do not? What of those who are oppressed and afflicted, but do not know God? I’m no expert, but it is highly likely that the vast majority of displaced Syrians do not know Jesus Christ as Lord.
I’m proud that Southern Baptist field workers are seeking opportunities to assist in efforts to meet the humanitarian needs in refugee camps. Before departing from Turkey a few months ago, I visited with a friend and brother in Christ over a cup of tea who was that weekend headed to a Syrian refugee camp with doctors, dentists, and other medical supplies. He was going to assist in every way he could – and to share his compassion and God’s love with those he could. You don’t have to be a Christian to help in times of need. And his primary goal and reason for being there was not to proselytize, but to help – that is certain. I’m thankful his help could include prayer to our God of lovingkindness, mercy, and grace. This is the sort of opportunities that we support when we give to the International Mission Board. That God’s servants are nearby and able to help. Certainly consider giving to the IMB.
We can remember they are our brothers and sisters… and we can pray for mercy.
Psalm 9:9 says that, “The LORD also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble…” He also will be… Just because they may not know the Lord, they can still find shelter in Him, because He is a stronghold for those who are oppressed.
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ – Matthew 25:40
In Matthew 25, Jesus compels us to love, clothe, feed, and care for those in need. He does so by saying that when we do, it is as if we are loving, clothing, feeding, and caring for Jesus himself. But he uses an interesting phrase, “…of these my brothers…”
Jesus isn’t saying that every one who is in need is a Christian – not a ‘brother’ in that sense. But remember that when God humbled himself and came to earth, He came as a man. Jesus is fully human – just as He is fully God. Is it possible that Jesus is reminding us that He is part of the ‘brotherhood of man’ – that we are all brothers and sisters, as we are all made in God’s image?
The abundance of displaced Syrians is in an unimaginable – impossible – situation. Let us respond and show them the dignity we owe those made in the image of God. Displaced Syrians need compassion and help. Displaced Syrians are our brothers and sisters.
He was just months older than my daughter.