by Travis Wussow
Baptist Press News
Aylan's mother also died. But Aylan will never be forgotten, because a nearby photographer made him an international symbol of the Syrian refugees' plight.
Also not to be forgotten: the reports of systemic rape and sexual slavery of women across Syria and Iraq. The so-called Islamic State continues to wreak havoc in the region, its campaign of terror emanating from Raqqa, Syria, its de facto capital.
The world is presented with the worst refugee crisis since World War II. Nearly 8 million Syrians have been internally displaced, and nearly 4 million Syrians have fled the country in search of safety. For a story on the Syrian refugee crisis by the International Mission Board, "Refugee crisis opening door for Gospel witness," in Baptist Press on Sept. 8, click here.
As Christians, we know that we must respond.
Jesus tells us that if we are to fulfill the second greatest commandment -- to love our neighbors as ourselves -- we must show them mercy (Luke 10:32). Jesus also calls those who exhibit saving faith to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the strangers, clothe the naked, visit the sick, come to the prisoners (Matthew 25:35–26). If we are in Christ, all of our own stories are marked by the fact that Jesus showed us mercy, too, when we were in great need, when we were hopeless, when we had no future.
And so we want to help. And yet, the situation in Syria is paralyzingly complex. We don't know what to do. We're afraid to act because we are unsure of the long-term consequences. We don't know which organizations to trust.
For today, here are some ways you can begin to respond:
Jesus tells us that if we knock, the door will be opened, that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, mountains can be moved. The famed British preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon famously said that prayer is "the slender nerve that moves the muscle of omnipotence." Let us not believe that our prayers are too small a response to this crisis...