If you have been watching the news reports over the last year or so you are aware of the civil war in Syria. Over 2 million Syrian people have fled their homes because of the civil war.
It is estimated that over 1 million of those are children. Syrian soldiers killed many of the parents, leaving many of the fleeing children orphans. The refugee camps in Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordon are overflowing with children.
Fellow missionary Floyd McClung just returned this week from visiting several of the refugee camps. Read some excerpts from his report.
"I met men who were suffering from wounds caused in the fighting. I "talked" with one man who survived a bullet wound to the head. The bullet entered his forehead and exited the back of his head. He is paralyzed, cannot speak, and yet he can understand everything. His wife sat beside him holding his hand. In that moment I did not see "a Muslim" but another human being, a man with a family he cannot feed and wounds he cannot get medical attention for.
In the same crowded apartment building, I met two brothers, both of whom had recently escaped from prison in Syria. Both brothers had bullet scars and shrapnel wounds. One of the brothers could not lift his left arm because he was tortured in prison - Syrian soldiers cut the tendons and nerves in his arm and wrist while he was held captive.
I sat with refugee families who lived in tents, and did not know where the next meal is coming from. I listened as one man said he wants to work but cannot because of his refugee status. That is true for several hundred thousand Syrian men, many from middle-class backgrounds, who are now refugees in Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. They are stateless, hopeless, and lost. And it is illegal for them to take a wage-earning job in their host country.
It is hard to assimilate all I witnessed and heard in those few days. I asked the Lord to allow me to feel what He feels and to see what He sees. Perhaps no one outside Syria can really understand what the Syrian refugees have been through. But still, I asked God to touch my heart in a deep and lasting way. He is still doing that in me.
Regardless of our political opinion about the Syrian conflict, I believe as committed followers of Christ we have a responsibility to reach out to help the suffering. It is in times like this that we can show the love of Jesus in multiple ways."
Our ministry, Bibles4Children, has been given a unique ministry opportunity to impact a significant number of children in these refugee camps by placing a Bible storybook in the hands of a child. The timing is significant. The children are lonely, afraid, confused and wondering what will happen to them without their parents. This is a perfect time to bring to them the story of God’s love. We have the opportunity to place 250,000 of these storybooks in the hands of the children in these refugee camps. Over 300,000 of these storybooks have already been placed and they are desperately begging for more. The cost for this project is $35,000, but we have been given a matching funds grant to pay half of the cost of $17,500 but we must raise the other $17,500.
We know God is at work in the placement of these storybooks because they are also being read by the adults residing in the camps. We understand that the devils intent is to destroy innocent people. But what he meant for evil, God can turn into good. Their tragedy could be the very thing that opens their heart to our loving Savior.
There have been more Muslims come to Christ in the last 10-15 years than in the last 1400 years combined. This is one more opportunity and open door to give the gospel to a spiritually hungry people. Will you be a part of this harvest of souls?