Believers called to respond as humanitarian crisis continues

By June 4, 2013

Syria/Lebanon (MNN) — Fighting rages on in Syria as thousands remain trapped in a town near the Lebanon border. And Lebanon sees the worst clashes yet to take place within its borders.

In the Syrian town of Qusair, hundreds fight for life and thousands are trapped as Syrian rebels and President Assad's forces fight to gain control of the city. According to a doctor in Qusair who spoke to the Associated Press yesterday, at least 300 people needed emergency care and medical supplies were running out.

In addition, Hezbollah fighters clashed with Syrian rebels inside Lebanon over the weekend. Lebanon has tried to avoid being drawn into their neighbor's war; however, Hezbollah's support of Assad is making this effort increasingly impossible.

Since it began in 2011, Syria's civil war has killed over 80,000 people and driven 1.5 million Syrians into neighboring countries.

"This is the biggest humanitarian crisis of our time, and I think it's really incumbent on the Western Church to…really enter into spiritual battle, praying for the Syrian Church, but also supporting them," says Peter Howard of Food for the Hungry.

"I would really ask people to engage in this conflict. Learn about it, understand it, and try to put [yourself] in the situation. What would it be like to lose everything?"

In a recent trip to the region, Howard spoke with refugees who fled Syria because of the fighting.

"Everybody we talked to had lost somebody–a loved one, a brother-in-law, a nephew–to the fighting, and that's heart wrenching," describes Howard.

"There's not only heartbreak of losing family members and friends, but there's also the difficulty of just trying to find their daily food, meet their daily needs."

Taking up residence with a barn full of horses was one family's only option for shelter.

"They lived very much like we [do]," Howard recounts. "[They] went to school, went to work, lived in a nice little home; clean, comfortable.

"And now, in an instant, that's destroyed and now they find themselves living in a horse barn."

To help the people of Syria, FH is partnering with local churches in the region to provide food, water, shelter, and hygiene. They're also helping with trauma care and providing self-defense training for women in the refugee camps.

They're asking you to get involved, too.

"Pray for broken hearts, but then also I would ask that people give generously," says Howard. "Go to Food for the Hungry's Web site and give, and we will ensure that those resources get to the Syrian churches and the people in the Middle East who are reaching out to refugees."

Click here to come alongside FH and help the people of Syria.

Pray that Syrians will come to Christ as they experience His love through the Church.

"The Church becomes a place for people to find rest, to be cared for and listened to as they share their story and as they open up their hearts," Howard says.

"It's truly an opportunity for the ancient Church, the historic church in the Middle East, to continue to be a light in time of war."

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