Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Don't Forget Syria...

My heart and soul are disturbed today. I am thinking again about Syria and the ongoing crisis there. I just read some new statistics that not only stirred me but also brought back images of families, real people, whom I visited just a few weeks ago...

There are now over 9 million internally displaces peoples and refugees in and around Syria. That's out of a total population of 22 million. This means that 2 in every 5 Syrians have had to flee their homes and seek shelter and refugee in some other place.

Over one million Syrians have sought refuge in neighboring Lebanon where there are no official Syrian refugee camps. They are living in hovels, tents and temporary shelters; wherever they can find. And they are bracing for yet another oncoming winter. They are dealing with contagious infections like leishmaniasis and scabies on a scale that is unimaginable. They have all experience extreme trauma. I remember the story of one mother who told how her husband was killed right in front of her and her children.

Over 600,000 refugees are in Turkey. Another 600,000 in Jordan. And the list goes on and on...

And we through BGR continue to respond. It only costs $50 to provide a food packet to a family of 5. This food packet helps them get through a month. We also are providing a hygiene kit for $20 that providing essentials such as diapers, candles, matches and personal hygiene items.

Our most recent project with partners there is attempting to get some of the refugee children back in a school setting. Many of the children are entering their third year with no formal education. BGR is helping to provide backpacks full of school materials to children and some needed classroom equipment as well as some assistance to local teachers (who are refugees themselves) to get a few children back in school. The refugee families are so excited that they are opening their makeshift homes to serve as temporary classrooms.

So my heart and soul are disturbed. It is easy to forget. It is easy to turn our heads. My plea is that we don't forget what is happening in Syria.

I want to encourage you to take a few minutes and view this video and then see what God would have you do.



Jeff Palmer

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