USA (MNN/CAM) — A top Jordanian missions leader says the attacks against local Christians and Americans in Egypt and Libya are "mere symbols" of a radical new Islamic order that has taken over in the Middle East.
"A new crisis has started, this is beginning of a long war," said the leader we can't name for security reasons. "We need to help local believers show love to refugees in Jordan, Kurdistan (Iraq) and Lebanon where there are safe zones."
Bill Bray with
Christian Aid Mission agrees, saying, "It's a war for control. The Middle East is up for grabs again. Americans have backed out and shown a lack of resolve, and the whole areas is in play again. It's destabilized. Syria is where the ground forces are meeting each other."
Here for meetings with Christian Aid Mission to arrange for emergency increases in assistance to the frontline states around Syria, the leader predicts that the fighting ahead will drive as many as 1.5 million refugees into the surrounding states, mostly Jordan. There are now about 250,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan, but that is huge to a country of only eight million population.
With sub-zero temperatures coming soon, the leader asked Christian Aid Mission to help raise funds for five containers of food that need to ship now at an average cost of $6,500 each. Each is filled with tons of white beans, rice, corned beef and pasta to help the refugees eat in the months ahead.
"The Arab Spring is over," he said, "American missions must adapt to the new Muslim winter and send help to suffering Christian groups now.
"I am begging Americans to help us with strategic needs."
Predicting a time of disintegration and chaos as borders are redrawn, Bray said that American Christians "who love the Arabs and other peoples" need to be helping indigenous leaders during the crisis. Many Christians will be among those moving into new safe zones.
The Christian Aid Area Director for the Middle East said, "The challenge for us as American Christians is to understand that this is a time to help Arab believers show the love of Christ to all people. Muslims are open to a witness now."
The Jordanian mission's leader said there are three emergency needs in Mideast missions now: (1) food and other relief, (2) books and tapes, and (3) training programs for nationals.
"The media says Christianity is dying in its birth place," he joked, "but there is more interest than ever." He cited a huge demand for camps and conferences, Christian TV, books, DVDs and CDs.
"Americans need to help (Arab) Christians help others. By distributing aid, Christians have a better testimony. We are ready to preach the gospel with our lives but we must have the tools."
A special fund has been set up by Christian Aid coded 400REF to aid the Syrian Christians during this time of crisis. Offerings for the suffering believers of Syria are being collected by phone at 800-977-5650 or at the Christian Aid Mission Web site: www.ChristianAid.org
Traveling under various pseudonyms on his aid-raising mission to the USA, the indigenous leader said that the current war in Syria is not a struggle for power among Arabs, but actually an extension of the old cold war. Syria is a pawn of a Russian-led alliance against the United States and its allies.
"Christians," he said, "need to understand that when elephants fight, the grass gets wounded. We Arabs are the grass–especially Christians, Bedouins and other minorities. We call on Christians everywhere to help us at this time."
Among the biggest needs now, he said, are:
• $70 each to sponsor the education of one child
• $45 each to supply medications for a refugee family
• $7 each for Arabic Bibles
• $55 each for food packets
• $180 per share of rent if a family shares an apartment with several other families
• $750 each for tents
• $70 each for volunteer counselor training
Bob Finley, who founded Christian Aid Mission in 1953, started sending aid to Arab Christians in Bethlehem almost from the beginning. Since then, Christian Aid Mission has expanded its support network to include hundreds of indigenous missions throughout the countries in the conflict zone. This includes all the Arab states as well as Iran, Iraq, Israel, Russia and Turkey.