Recent posts and comments here on the reality on the ground in the Middle East have been somewhat informative though, to me, generally discouraging. Most of us share some level of concern for the appalling, senseless, and shocking violence committed by radical groups in the area. Although we receive steady streams of news, videos, and reports of shocking events, such things are far removed from the United States.
I do not question either the Christian commitment of my friends here nor their compassion for human suffering anywhere. I do speculate, however, that none of us here are directly affected nor have we experienced or ever will experience the slightest disruption of our daily lives by the Islamic State or any of the many other sects or groups active in the Middle East other than to be stirred to outrage while we recline with ease and watch the daily news.
The reality in the Middle East is framed by the following:
- There are around 200 million people in the area from Syria down to Egypt.
- Iraq and Syria with a total of around 60 million are in turmoil and civil war.
- The insurgency in Iraq has affected millions in those and neighboring countries.
- The four-year long civil war in Syria has killed hundreds of thousand and has displaced millions internally and externally.
- Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey are now home to millions of Syrian refugees.
Refugees from these areas are more concerned for their next meal, the safety of their children, and when they might return to normalcy, if ever, than any highminded debates about what might be considered to be authentic or inauthentic Islam. Those who fled from areas controlled by the most violent and extremist of the insurgents were exposed to such threats that they left their homes to protect their welfare and safety rather than stay and live under the latest radical sect. These actions likely best express their views of such groups.
While we aren’t isolated in America from occasional, extremely rare, incidents of terrorism, our society is highly secure, stable, and prosperous, things completely foreign to those living in the Middle East.
The governments in the area cannot manage the millions displaced from Syria, Iraq, and Palestine so many western groups are putting aid into the area, including us. There are children to be fed, families to be housed and clothed. Our IMB offers an opportunity for a Syrian Crisis Response, described as follows:
Political upheaval has presented an unprecedented opportunity to serve the physical and spiritual needs of the people of Syria. Field personnel continue to respond to the overwhelming needs in Syria, as well as in Lebanon and Jordan. The crisis within Syria has created an opportunity for many Syrians to hear the gospel for the first time, usually while experiencing the tangible love of Jesus Christ through one of his followers serving them in their most desperate need. The opportunities for ministry in this crisis are overwhelming and the resources and laborers are few. Through the funding of this request, thousands of Syrians can be impacted by the love of Christ and can gain access to the gospel.
Funds donated to this are quickly and efficiently put directly to various projects and needs in the area.
We can discuss and debate terrorism, terrorists, terrorist sponsors, what is “true” Islam, or Christianity, or other religion. If the latest news does nothing other than generate words, we fail as followers of Christ. Frankly, we dare not only talk while human needs go unmet.
The response to the Syrian crisis as expressed by giving to this opportunity has been encouraging but there are yet many unmet needs.
Want to talk? Talk. Want to help? The link below offers this opportunity.
Follow the link here – Give through the IMB to help Syrian Refugees.