Making a Difference

The Great Commission among the Syrian Refugees

By Jim Allen

Iraq, Syria, and other regional Muslim states have been invaded and are presently occupied by an evil horde known as ISIS. They are hell-bent on destroying anyone not sharing their religious belief and anything not symbolizing their cause. If left unopposed, their ambition for control will spread worldwide. The Muslim ambition has always been to build a one-world governing body that will replace all political, religious, and cultural systems with one that will bring in peace.

This assault on Middle-Eastern countries has caused the worst humanitarian crisis since World War II. While the Muslim ambition is to put the entire world under Sharia Law, the most disturbing tenant of the law is known as Jihad. Jihad is the command from Mohamad to kill every infidel not worshiping Allah (Quran 2:91-93).

Although these opening paragraphs may hint at a dark and menacing theme, they do not. This article is about those who face evil head-on every day by showing loving compassion for the oppressed. They are Christians making a difference. More than anything, these faithful servants represent hope and change for Muslims now discovering their hatred for the "Christ worshiping infidel" is wrong.

Aside from the Muslim abhorrence for non-believers, God is at work in the refugee camps where Christians labor around the clock serving those in need. God is there and looking for hearts open to receive the Gospel (John 14:6). Glenn Beck, on his radio program, said Christians are in the fray of the refugee crisis and fearlessly living out their faith by serving (Luke 6:27; Philippians 2:5-7). Glenn went on to say:
An ISIS militant who pretended to be a refugee — in order to kill people — converted to Christianity after seeing the love of Christians at the camps. An ISIS fighter from northern Syria veiled as a refugee arrived in a Jordanian camp with the intention of killing Christian workers. But he abandoned his plans after hearing the Gospel and witnessing the love of the Christians. (Source)
The ISIS militant who converted to Christianity was told by camp workers to tone down his excitement about Jesus for fear of being discovered. After all, this young man was so happy to learn about Jesus he couldn't contain himself. Who wouldn't be joyful after being freed from a lifetime of darkness?

Glenn continues,
This is not the first time that I've heard this story. I've heard this from the people who are on the ground for us. They are saying, "Something is happening." People who are Islamic are seeing ISIS, and they're seeing the hatred, and they're seeing then the love and the strength of the Christians who are forgiving these people. And they're saying, "If this is what Islam is and this is what Christianity is, I'm with these guys." (Source)
Many Muslims have never known the loving forgiveness and compassion shown by Christians. How sad for these precious souls to have never known the freedom available in Christ (John 8:36). And now they are beginning to learn, for the first time, the religious propaganda against the Christian infidel is a lie.

Other refugees are not doing so well. For many, parts of Europe are rolling out large coils of razor wire instead of welcome mats along its borders. Border guards stand watch to stop and turn the refugees away. Refugees are everywhere, pushing and shoving their way to what they hope will be a new beginning.

A mother carries a child, ignoring its cry, as she hurries along with a group having slipped past security guards at a border crossing. Stumbling and falling and with fearful hearts, they continue on. Children are separated from parents and wives from husbands. Emotionally drained and exhausted, they push towards European countries where there is asylum.

As the weather begins to cool and winter approaches, the hardship worsens for those en route to a refugee camp. One group of refugees huddled under a tree during days of rain and wind. No shelter, no food, and no hope. IPads and laptops cannot be recharged. No way to call for help. No way to communicate. Cold, hungry, thirsty, and exhausted, they push on to the next hill and pass over its crest to an unknown tomorrow.

Christian and other charitable organizations with emergency teams are working tirelessly to deliver the basics, like food, water, clothing, medicine, and more. Amid the funding challenges, relief organizations are running low on supplies, some operating at half capacity. The conflict creating the refugee problem has been ongoing since 2011 with no peaceful resolution in sight.

For those arriving safely in a country accepting refugees, the trauma is barely over. World Help writes,
With no end to the conflict in sight, the long-term effects of the crisis are starting to become overwhelmingly clear. Emotional and psychological trauma, joblessness, educational gaps, and an extreme lack in spiritual resources have left many refugees with very little hope for the future. (Source)
So, where is this European tragedy taking us? What will happen to millions of refugees? I don't know. God knows and works everything according to His will (Ephesians 1:11). Part of that plan could be to send some Syrian refugees to America. When they arrive will they see the loving compassion many saw in the refugee camps? I think so.

This is a troubling topic because we can't help everyone. We are not to blame. But we can help some. It's an opportunity to show besieged souls there is hope and people who care.

In closing, this human tragedy reminds me of a story you might have heard at one time or another. But, I never get tired of telling it again and again because it's a "classic story" about making a difference.
From a distance, an old man and his dog were walking along the seashore and could see a young boy bending over, picking up what looked like rocks, and then tossing them into the sea. When the old man approached the boy he could see hundreds of starfish left behind from the receding morning tide. Surly, the old man thought, "They would all die in the mid-day sun."

He said to the young boy, "Young man…why bother…there are so many and what difference could you possibly make." The young boy paused for a moment, looked at the old man, looked at the starfish in his hand, and then gently flung the creature back into the sea. The boy brushed the sand from his hands and looked at the old man and graciously said, "Sir, I made a difference for that one!"

Original Story by: Loren Eisley
Can we make a difference? Yes, because the loving compassion of Jesus in you and me is the difference the refugees will see and believe (2 Corinthians 3:2).


Want to make a difference?

You can donate, tell a friend, or sign a petition for Congress to do more. If your local church does not have a program for helping refugees, you can start one. If they do but you want to do more, contact a Christian organization to learn more about the many ways to help. The following list identifies Christian organizations presently providing assistance to refugees:

e3 Partners
The Joshua Project
Samaritans Purse
Open Doors
Christian Aid and Mission
World Help
Mercy Corps

Note: ISIS originally meant Islamic State of Iraq and Syria; then, some changed it to ISIL to mean Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant; and now more commonly known as IS which means Islamic State.

Image Credit: Josh Zakary; "Syrian Refugees in Vienna Transtation [Train Station]"; Creative Commons

TagsControversial-Issues  | Current-Issues  | Hardships  | Ministry-Church  | Other-Religions  | Sin-Evil

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Published 10-22-2015