The Syrian refugee crisis is one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time. Violence and instability in Syria have forced 12 million people from their homes. As of July, over 4 million refugees have fled the country while more than 7 million are internally displaced, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. These numbers continue to grow. The receiving countries are struggling with the care of the refugees. Food, water, and shelter, especially as winter approaches is a huge burden.
How can we respond? We want to stand in the gap with fellow believers who are on the front lines of this crisis. It’s a critical time for the church to show the love and compassion of Christ. Although numerous ministries and non-profits are reaching out to care for the refugees, the needs are overwhelming and growing.
CPC’s Missions Ministry recently reviewed options and committed to responding in several ways. We will give funds from the 2015 Missions budget, make recommendations for the congregation to give, and encourage the collection of Gifts of the Heart.
Here are the specifics…
Give. We will give financially to Heart for Lebanon (H4L) out of the CPC 2015 Missions budget. With 1.2 million Syrian refugees, the needs are great in Lebanon. In 2006, Heart for Lebanon began it’s reach out in Christ’s name to the vulnerable populations in Lebanon. They are now uniquely positioned to respond to this current crisis. H4L has excellent ratings with financial accountability groups.
Video about Heart for Lebanon
Recommend. If you feel prompted to contribute personally, we recommend Heart for Lebanon for individual giving. We also recommend the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance; (PDA) is giving financial support to the European churches in affected areas. If your heart is burdened by the needs of European believers reaching out to the refugees, PDA would be a trusted partner.
Collect. Gifts of the Heart kits are tangible ways to send specific items. We will collect hygiene kits and baby kits over the next couple of months. These will then be driven to the Maryland warehouse to be shipped to the refugees.
One additional response may be on our horizon. Our mission partner, Paula Puckett, is serving with InterVarsity in England. She and her family have submitted an application to be a foster family for 1-2 unaccompanied refugee minors. We have been in contact with Paula and offered to assist financially if children are placed in their home. She was so delighted to hear our offer! The additional expenses of food, clothing, and school would burden their limited family budget but they felt the Lord’s prompting to open their home. We will keep everyone posted as we stand alongside the Pucketts.
Submitted by Director of Missions Sharon Hoover
Image from photopin