Even Christian aid workers not safe in volatile regions

By April 7, 2011

Middle East/North Africa (MNN) — Turmoil has severely limited food and other necessities in several countries across the Middle East and North Africa. Aid is in high demand. Churches and individual believers are responding, but very much at their own risk.

Baptist Global Response has had to be extremely selective and careful about how and where they work in this volatile region. Nevertheless, the ministry has been able to deliver aid, hope, and comfort to many in partnership with local believers.

In Egypt, for instance, food, clothes and medicine are being distributed to families struck particularly hard by the soaring cost of provisions. Business loans are also being offered for those who have lost jobs or are in the midst of economic hardship.

In a region where believers are often threatened even during peace time, Christians are especially at risk now–even when they're doling out desperately-needed aid.

"We think humanitarian effort and helping people in conflict is something everyone will respond to favorably. But they [Christians] know that as they do this, this actually makes them more visible, and it actually puts them in more danger, more in harm's way," says BGR's Jeff Palmer.

It's not a unique response to turmoil. Just months ago, Christian aid workers were attacked and killed in the wake of massive flooding in Pakistan.

Despite the danger they know they face, many believers have counted the cost of standing by and are helping anyway.

"They choose to do this because the love of Christ compels them," Palmer explains. "They can't sit and watch this as people suffer. They can't watch and not take advantage of what's happening right now to help people and to make Christ known."

As believers continue literally to risk their lives for the sake of serving others throughout the Middle East and North Africa, pray for God to provide them with courage and wisdom. Pray that the Lord would continue to guide Baptist Global Response in how to best support relief efforts without putting any believers further in harm's way than they already are.

Pray that many might see the response of the church during this chaos and fall before the Lord.

You can help provide these faithful Christian workers with all they need to continue the Lord's work during this trying time. To get involved, click here.

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