Gwen and I did not have to pay as much tax as we expected! (Happy dance occurs). We decided to pour some of what we had saved for the taxes into South Broad’s sharing gap. And we poured another portion into the cups of our poor Syrian loved ones via MCC.
- MCC – Syria and Iraq crisis response http://mcc.org/learn/more/syria-iraq-crisis-response
Thank God for the fragile cease fire that is allowing some more aid to get deeper into Syria itself. We have been trying to help since the crisis began in 2011. Remember the dress sale?
Since then, our sharing with MCC through our thrift stores and Common Fund has also helped alleviate suffering.
This conflict brought on “compassion fatigue” rather quickly for most people, I think. It appears the 1% would rather spend its money on buying the government than helping refugees. The rest of the 99% feel squeezed so much that they have a tough time sharing even when they actually have a lot to share. In case you are interested (and I am seriously NOT trying to guilt you into being interested — giving is about gladness, not guilt), here are some facts from World Vision:
Syria crisis: Fast facts
- 5 million people in Syria need humanitarian assistance.1
- 6 million Syrians are refugees, and 6.6 million are displaced within Syria; half are children.2 Read an open letter from Syrian children.
- Children affected by the Syrian conflict are at risk of becoming ill, malnourished, abused, or exploited. Millions have been forced to quit school. See photo slideshow.
- Most Syrian refugees remain in the Middle East, in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt; about 10 percent of the refugees have fled to Europe.3
- A fragile ceasefire began on Feb. 26, allowing humanitarian aid access to civilians who had been cut off for months. Refugees react to news of the ceasefire.
- Learn more in this free ebook by World Vision President, Rich Stearns: Understanding the Syria crisis and the role of the church.
Why are Syrians fleeing their homes?
- Violence: Since the Syrian civil war began, 320,000 people have been killed, including nearly 12,000 children. About 1.5 million people have been wounded or permanently disabled, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.4 The war has become more deadly since foreign powers joined the conflict.
- Collapsed infrastructure: Within Syria, healthcare, education systems, and other infrastructure have been destroyed; the economy is shattered.
- Children’s safety: Syrian children — the nation’s hope for a better future — have lost loved ones, suffered injuries, missed years of schooling, and witnessed unspeakable violence and brutality. Warring parties forcibly recruit children to serve as fighters, human shields, and in support roles, according to the U.S. State Department. Read a story on our blog about how 3 refugee sisters are coping.
What are the refugees’ greatest needs?
- Syrians fleeing conflict need all the basics to sustain their lives: food, clothing, health assistance, shelter, and household and hygiene items.
- They need reliable supplies of clean water, as well as sanitation facilities.
- Children need a safe environment and a chance to play and go to school.
- Adults need employment options in case of long-term displacement.
- Prayer: Learn how you can pray for Syrian refugees. Join with others as we #PrayForRefugees.
- Compassion: Read this article in Christianity Today by World Vision President, Rich Stearns about treating refugees with the compassion of Christ.
How does the war in Syria affect children?
Read about how the war is affecting Syria’s children in a special report from the World Vision magazine, “Syria Crisis and the Scars of War.”
- Children are susceptible to malnutrition and diseases brought on by poor sanitation, including diarrheal diseases like cholera. Cold weather increases the risk of pneumonia and other respiratory infections.
- Many refugee children have to work to support their families. Often they labor in dangerous or demeaning circumstances for little pay.
- Children are more vulnerable to sexual abuse and exploitation in unfamiliar and overcrowded conditions. Without adequate income to support their families and fearful of their daughters being molested, parents — especially single mothers — may opt to arrange marriage for girls, some as young as 13.
- Between 2 million and 3 million Syrian children are not attending school. The U.N. children’s agency says the war reversed 10 years of progress in education for Syrian children.