what can (and should) Christians do about syria

Written by Dan King

Christ-follower. husband. father. author of the unlikely missionary: from pew-warmer to poverty-fighter. co-author of activist faith: from him and for him. school of ministry and missions instructor. president of fistbump media, llc.

August 30, 2013

syria, christian relief, war, activist faith

Have you ever seen something that you wish you could un-see?

Seeing it means that you are now accountable to do something. Well, maybe not technically speaking. But I believe that ignoring injustice is one of the most un-Christian things someone can do. I don’t want to go on that rant now, but this is kind of where I’m at with what’s going on in Syria.

I almost wish I had successfully tuned it out.

News about the Syrian civil war has littered headlines for a couple of years now, and we hear stories about immoral war practices, injustices against the people, and a massively growing refugee problem as a result of the fighting. Additionally, new evidence of chemical weapons has brought the conflict to the point of warranting international military response.

Here’s the kicker.

A new report from USAID states that 6.8 million people in Syria are in need of humanitarian assistance. There are 4.25 million people displaced (living in refugee camps) inside Syria, and nearly 2 million more displaced in other countries surrounding Syria.

Let’s put this in context.

The total population of Syria is about 20.8 million. This means 1 in every 3 people in the entire country is in need of humanitarian aid. Nearly a third of their total population has been displaced… from their homes, their jobs, their schools.

“We have not seen a refugee outflow escalate at such a frightening rate since the Rwandan genocide almost 20 years ago.” –United Nations Refugee Chief, Antonio Guterres

I hate this stuff. It absolutely… breaks. my. heart.

And one of the most difficult things about this situation is the helpless feeling that overwhelms me. What can Dan King, just an ordinary dude in Florida, do about this? It’s such a big problem, and I’m just one guy who can’t do anything to stop the power struggles and fighting.

This is exactly the kind of issue I struggled with in the War, Terrorism, and Genocide chapter in Activist Faith. Here’s the thing we have to remember. We may not be able to do anything about the civil unrest. We may agree or disagree with U.S. and other International intervention. But, the good news is that there are people who are getting humanitarian aid in to those suffering as a result of this conflict.

There’s a big need in the camps of these refugees for things like food, clean water, medical care, hygiene items, blankets, and shelter. Check out this video from one organization that’s getting this kind of aid in to the refugees:

In the absence of basic necessities, problems and fighting begin to break out among people in refugee camps. In the absence of clean water and other hygiene resources, disease spreads quickly. And in the absence of medical care, these diseases can easily become fatal.

All because it’s safer to be there than in your own home.

When I think of situations like this, I’m reminded of the 2nd and 3rd century Christians who become know for their charity by going into places where disease was running rampant, and nursing people back to health. In fact, it’s this kind of charity that’s noted as one of the reasons for rapid growth of the early Church.

And now with Syria, I can’t turn my back. I know how bad the situation is there. And, as a Christian, I feel obligated to run towards a solution that restores hope to people who are hurting and suffering.

So here’s what I’m we’re doing.

I’d love it if we could provide food and medicine for twelve refugee children for one month. It costs $360. That’s it.

Help a Syrian refugee child now!

Jump over to our Syria Refugee Aid campaign page, and drop $10 or $20 on this campaign. By doing this, you’ll be making a real, immediate impact in the life of a Syrian child. You can bring life-giving Hope to people who are fighting just to survive. And that Hope carries with it a Gospel message that can leave an eternal impact in a region that severely needs it.

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (ESV)

Martin Luther once said, “Here I stand, I can do no other.” Even though my context in this situation is very different than his, this is also the cry of my heart at this moment. I cannot un-see what has already been exposed to me. And I cannot sit quietly waiting for someone else to do something. Our Jesus called us to more than that, and He deserves a response from me us when we see injustice like this in our world.

Let’s do this…

Oh, and here are a couple other ways you can help. So even if $5 isn’t in the budget, you can do something like this to help the children of Syria:

  • Share this post on your social media profiles and encourage others to get involved.
  • Create your own campaign to raise money for aid to the children in Syria.

#fistbump

19 Comments

  1. Michele-Lyn

    I’m compelled to action, because of your own! Sharing now!

    Reply
    • Dan King

      thanks michele-lyn! apathy isn’t an option. i can’t look at this situation and not do something, especially after writing about war in #activistfaith. thanks for your contribution and helping spread the word!

      Reply
  2. Kris Camealy

    Thanks for this Dan. It’s SO hard to watch the news these days, and I can only imagine the stories we aren’t hearing. My heart breaks for this, and I can only pray that God will show His face to these people and lift His hands in mercy. Thank you for continually challenging me to see what I don’t want to see–to pay attention and to act in whatever seemingly small ways I can. We can all do something, and something small is better than nothing at all.

    Reply
    • Dan King

      i’m chuckling at the comment about seeing what you don’t want to see… because that’s the hard part (for me too), isn’t it? it’s definitely a lot easier if we just don’t know about it, then we wouldn’t have to act.

      and we can barely imagine what we don’t hear about in these camps, i’ve heard stories from locals living in a big tent city in haiti. it’s just gruesome.

      and yes, all of our small somethings can add up to a big something. and it’s good for us to be a part of something. #fistbump

      Reply
  3. Patricia W Hunter

    I had the VERY SAME thoughts this morning, and it reminds me of the song, “Albertine” by Brooke Fraser. “Now that I have seen, I am responsible.” Thanks for making me look, Dan.

    Reply
    • SimplyDarlene

      yes, that song is a yikers.

      Reply
    • Dan King

      just to bring it together, here’s the music video. and i noticed in the video she’s journaling on page that says “Rwanda”… i’ll be there with World Help (the org doing this work in Syria) in January. very cool.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gh-0Kt6ZjXc

      Reply
      • Patricia W Hunter

        Thanks for putting up the video, Dan. If I’m not mistaken, Brooke was 18 when she traveled to Rwanda the first time and wrote this song. It was inspiration for my daughter, who was also 18 when she went to Rwanda with Builders without Borders – leaving a piece of her heart. That’s awesome that you are going in January.

        Reply
  4. SimplyDarlene

    I shared what He has given with those who need it. And it was a blessing to me and mine.

    Thank you for the effort and inspiration you’ve contributed to this matter, sir Dan!

    Reply
    • Dan King

      thank you SO much for contributing! i’m sitting here smiling while i think about the lives that will be impacted by what we’re doing! so cool!

      Reply
  5. child of God

    Hi Dan,
    LOVE this post!! I shared it on mine and am praying for Syria and the financial need there.

    Blessings

    Reply
    • Dan King

      thanks! and prayer is one of the things i should have added to the list! they definitely need our active and fervent prayer. i’m praying for grace and protection over those displaced families, and that the fighting would stop.

      Reply
  6. Dena Dyer

    Dan, thank you for leading the way on activist faith…the only kind we should have. I am talking to my husband about contributing, and you’ve got me thinking about what else I can do (social media, of course). I just love your heart! 🙂

    Reply
    • Dan King

      thank YOU Dena! I know that working with refugees is something that’s close to your heart. you’re one person who i thought a great deal about while writing this. #fistbump

      Reply
  7. Diane Bailey

    And if we don’t respond to the pain of another, despite their culture or faith, then, do we really understand the love of Calvary?

    Reply
    • Dan King

      that’s a GREAT point diane! you are SO right! that makes me almost want to seek it out…

      Reply
  8. Emily Wierenga

    LOVE this Dan… sharing on my blog. Thank you for your heart.

    Reply
    • Dan King

      thank YOU emily! i’m SO excited to be working with you on a World Help Bloggers team, and look forward to all of the stories that we’ll have the opportunity to share! #fistbump

      Reply

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what can (and should) Christians do about syria

by Dan King time to read: 4 min
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