Photo Credit: Freedom House via Flickr
Discussion during our drive home from church this afternoon was mostly about the growing refugee crisis in the Middle East, and its inevitable spread into Europe. Our family has prayed for years for countries within the 10/40 Window, and have eagerly looked for God’s response to those prayers. I’ve learned that God’s answers to prayers often do not take the form I expect, and I pray that we’ll begin to see how his sovereign hand has been at work through this current crisis. In spite of the violence, in spite of the hatred towards people of all faith, there are amazing opportunities for the gospel in the Middle East. The world’s attention is now focused on this region, and I continue to pray for God’s mercy to be evident to all through the work of his church.
I was especially encouraged to see the welcoming response of the Germans as refugees from Syria and elsewhere entered the country. Our family made our home in Germany years ago, during the fall of the Berlin Wall, and watched as that country underwent profound change as East and West reunited. I’m remaining hopeful that the rest of Europe will follow Germany’s lead and show a gracious, gospel response that welcomes the outsider in.
Discussion in the car quickly turned to what we can do personally to help to alleviate the crisis. Problems this immense are overwhelming, and sometimes it seems impossible for individuals to make a real difference. In addition to efforts through our church’s deacons, our family has decided to work through Samaritan’s Purse to provide relief for refugees in Europe. Samaritan’s Purse has a great history of providing relief in word and deed all around the world, and we’ve been impressed with their work in similar crises in the past.
In addition, our family will be signing this petition to the White House, asking the administration to follow International Rescue Committee recommendations and accept at least 65,000 refugees into the U.S. So far, the U.S. has committed to accepting between 5,000 and 8,000 refugees, figures that pale in comparison to Germany’s commitment to take in 800,000. Over the past five years, the stream of refugees in crisis has overwhelmed Syria’s neighbors, and it’s past time for Europe, the U.S. and Canada to do our part.
Please pray and consider how you can help. And please consider donating to Samaritan’s Purse and urging the Obama Administration to accept more refugees into the United States!