Before coming to the Middle East this winter, God was putting a word on my heart and mind: “refugees.” I have been convicted by Him that I have not given enough thought, time, or money to helping the desperate poor of this world. And not just giving help through a check in the mail to an organization but giving help face-to-face.
While in Jordan, I met a man that leads a wonderful humanitarian relief organization that helps the poor. He is a Palestinian Christian. His family knows well what it means to lose a home. . .and even a homeland. Because of this he loves refugees. Whether they are Christian or Muslim makes no difference — he loves them and helps them. They are in Jordan by the tens of thousands from Palestine, Iraq, and now Syria.
I wrote in an earlier blog about the privilege of taking shoes to Palestinian refugee children. My wife and I also got to take blankets and bags of rice to Syrian refugees in Jordan.
The 3 pictures in this blog are from the tiny 3 room apartment of a Syrian refugee woman in Jordan who has escaped the tragedy and danger in Syria to come to a relatively safe but poverty filled life in Jordan. This young woman has a “living room” which is the room you enter (shown above). It is covered with grafitti on cold, bare, cement walls. No family pictures — or any pictures — hang on the walls. There is no furniture. There are no beds, only mats and a few cushions on the floor for her and her little children to sleep on. There are no windows to allow in sunlight, only a window from one room to another.
She has a “storage room” (shown below).
And she has a “bathroom” — a hole in the floor (shown below).
All this with 4 kids. Her husband is in the hospital in Syria and her oldest son is in the hospital in Jordan an hour or more away. Like so many of the Syrian refugees we met, she is desperate for help and thanks be to God, we were able to give it.
In the Injeel, the writer James says (James 4:14-17):
“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
I want to have the kind of real faith that James refers to. A faith that is not just verbal, but is visible as well.
I found the “refugees” God was speaking to me about and I long to go back and see them again. . .face-to-face.