The United Nations reported today that over 1 million of the Syrian refugees are children! Of these, 740,000 are under 11 years of age. Another 2 million kids are displaced within their own country.
This week news services have reported the Syrian government used chemical weapons to kill their own people. CNN reported over 1,300 were killed just outside Damascus in one blow. And many of those killed were children.
I think we will soon see another mass exodus of Syrians into neighboring countries. Already the demand on countries like Jordan and Lebanon is great. One of our workers in the region told me this week tensions are very high in the refugee camps.
CNN also reported: “This one millionth child refugee is not just another number,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “This is a real child ripped from home, maybe even from a family, facing horrors we can only begin to comprehend.”
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Antonio Guterres told CNN there is the risk of a lost generation in Syria.
Guterres also said the children’s ordeals are not over once they escape Syria. “Even after they have crossed a border to safety, they are traumatized, depressed and in need of a reason for hope,” he said.
This is where MercyWorks teams come in. The presence of Jesus brings hope and healing that is not found anywhere else. With the help of other agencies and churches, we are visiting more than 1,000 refugees per week. We visit them in a caring pastoral way. We see if there are practical needs we can meet. We sometimes do art therapy with the kids to help them express their hurt and trauma. We bring food, blankets and baby supplies to those with infants and toddlers. We show them love.
Many of the Syrian refugees have never known heaven’s love like this and they are soaking it up. We often hear reports of Muslims coming to Christ.
Please pray for these people and the horrific situation in Syria.