By Mark Kelly
A mind-boggling 10.8 million Syrians have been driven from their homes by violence in their towns. War widows are trying to care for their families. Husbands despair of feeding their children because they can’t find work. Children lose hope for the future because they can’t attend school. Infants and the elderly are at risk in bitter winter temperatures. Aid agencies don’t have the resources to provide adequate food, water and medical care.
Precious lives and eternal destinies are at stake.
Southern Baptists are helping thousands of these desperate families, both inside Syria and in neighboring countries. Our partners are focused on providing food parcels and hygiene kits, in addition to other assistance, but the needs far outstrip the resources being provided by supporters in the United States.
Here are 10 ways you can help in this crisis:
Humble yourself before God, who alone is able to bring peace and healing to broken Syrian lives. Ask God to move in a powerful way among Syrians. Ask him to guide you to the ways he wants you to help. Our friends at The Syrian Circle offer specific prayer pointers at thesyriancircle.com/pray.
2. Get informed.
The crisis in Syria and neighboring countries is complicated. Take advantage of the helpful, easy-to-understand resources you will find at thesyriancircle.com/learn.
3. Inform others.
Write a letter to your local newspaper or TV station. Share the link to this article in your social media network. Use resources in this Middle East Crisis Action Kit to spread the word.
Mobilize your church or group to help Syrian refugees in their hour of need, using the links in this article as resources.
The international community is not providing enough humanitarian aid in this crisis. Contact your representative in Congress by phone or e-mail and urge increased U.S. aid. Ask for a meeting and take your team to present the appeal in person.
6. Help directly.
Baptist Global Response has Christian partners on the ground in Syria and neighboring countries, demonstrating the love of Christ to refugees. You can meet needs directly through BGR’s network. Learn how at gobgr.org/syria.
7. Go yourself.
On-the-ground volunteers are helping in this crisis: registering refugees, delivering food boxes and teaching various short-term classes, such as ESL, VBS, art, music, sewing, home health care, micro-business, etc. E-mail email@example.com with a specific proposal for assisting the team.
8. Embrace Syrians.
More than 6 million Syrians in 18 people groups have no access to the Good News of God’s love in Christ. “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” Find out how you can help by visiting namepeoples.imb.org/embrace or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
9. Look around you.
Global migration has brought many Syrians to the United States. Your church has an incredible opportunity to share God’s love with them as they make new lives here. Join the conversation at ethnecity.com.
Global Hunger Relief donations are used 100 percent to meet hunger needs. Your gift through GHR will be used by Southern Baptist missionaries and their trusted partners in “word and deed” relief projects. Visit globalhungerrelief.com or text refugee to 80888 to donate $10 for Syrian refugees.*
Mark Kelly leads IMB’s human needs communications team.