Daily reports in the news tell of Christians and others being killed for their faith. Thousands drown trying to escape Africa to Europe and millions live in refugee camps.
Pastor Ron Opmeer and John Chalkias (Seeds of Hope) visited a camp in Iraq just weeks ago and report the following:
We met with Christians and heard their stories of escaping ISIS and losing everything. We also met with the Yazidi people who suffered terrible loss. Many have lost family members, had their wives, daughters and sisters taken, raped and enslaved by ISIS. Extremely horrendous ordeals that our minds cannot fathom. We went to many of the camps where people are living in overcrowded and difficult living conditions. You can see in their faces how tired they are. Worst of all, there is no end in sight, no home to go back to, no job to go back to, they are sitting waiting, unable to work, or go to school, depending on others for living essentials. The UN right now is building two camps that can house one million people in anticipation of the Iraqi army taking back Mosul before the summer. Despite the extreme poverty of the people we met, there wasn’t one home we visited where we weren’t offered food or at least tea.
For concrete suggestions of things you can do to help support refugees and our missions, click 'Read More'.
The problem may seem overwhelming but we can help. In fact, if we do not, will our Lord one day say to us:
‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.’ (Matthew 25:45)
What can we do?
1. Donate to organizations who are providing relief
There are many organizations such as World Relief who help refugees on the world, but those helping those fleeing homes in Iraq and Syria include:
These funds will be used by our Missionaries, JJ and Tim TenClay, serving in Italy and the Waldensian Church specifically to help those refugees from Africa
2. Sponsor refugees to live in Canada
We recommend that you read information regarding sponsorship taken from a Christian Reformed Church letter regarding this. The letter can be found at www.reformed-church.com/sponsorship.
More information can be found at http://www.worldrenew.net/refugeesponsorship
If any churches would like to consider sponsoring refugees, they can contact Rebecca Walker at World Renew, firstname.lastname@example.org
We can communicate to our government our concern that they need to do more to help refugees. They said they would sponsor 13,000 refugees from Iraq and Syria, but they have not changed total number of refugees they had already committed to.
You can read more about this at www.reformed-church.com/sponsorship.
Also, the following links provides advice on how to contact the government.
We recently sent a letter jointly with the Christian Reformed Church. We continue to partner with the CRC through the Centre for Public Dialogue. You can read it at www.reformed-church.com/Alexander .
Please pray for those who are being persecuted for their faith, for that is the best resource we have. As we pray, may God answer our prayers, often through the Holy Spirit moving us to act.
Rev. John Kapteyn
Executive Secretary, Regional Synod of Canada Inc., RCA