I am asking you all to pray today for Syria and for the safety and well-being of Syrian refugees.
Since the outbreak of the Syrian Civil War, more than half the population has been displaced creating 4 million refugees. The scenes have been heartbreaking – small children dying in desperate attempts to flee the war-torn region, older people begging to be allowed to cross borders, and temporary camps unable to handle the overflow.
According to a United Nations report, four out of every five Syrian now lives in poverty, 30% of them in abject poverty and the country’s fundamental resources – education, health and social welfare – have all collapsed.
I don’t have any answers to what’s happening in Syria, but, as I sat in church on a peaceful Sunday in Wisconsin and listened to a favorite hymn, I did have this thought: God makes all things beautiful.
What that means to me is that we should act with compassion toward the Syrian refugees, support them in any way we can, and pray for a resolution to their plight.
As always in situations that garner global headlines, I caution you to vet the charities to which you donate carefully.
Because more than 8,000 children have crossed the border out of Syria alone, I also support the United States Fund for UNICEF. Founded in 1947, the fund directs more than 90% of its donations to the program and only 2 percent to administrative cost. There are other worthy Christian charities as well, including Lutheran World Relief and Christian World Relief.
I also will pray for the refugees and for the countries that house them. If you don’t believe in God, send positive thoughts. As Pope Francis says, the issue is to obey your conscience.
May God bless the beautiful people of Syria and all refugees.