Poor suffer alongside uncertainty in Middle East

By February 14, 2011

Middle East (MNN) — As the wind of revolution blows through the Middle East and North Africa, uncertainty surrounding the political, social and religious segments of society exacerbates an already difficult situation for the poor. Many were already struggling to survive from day to day. With attention diverted from their needs to the needs of the general population, Christians says they need to do more.

President of Medical Teams International Bas Vanderzalm says many of them are our brothers and sisters. "There are a lot of our own Christians brothers and sisters who are involved. Whether it's Egypt, Lebanon, Pakistan, or Iraq, there are active Christian communities in all of those areas."

According to Vanderzalm, "When unsettled times come, those groups are often at great risk as well. So one of the things that we are trying to do is to ship in supplies, medicines, and medical supplies to Christian partners which they can then use to help people in their own communities."

Since Christians in most of these communities are poor and under resourced, Medical Teams International is playing a vital role in caring for these needs.

Vanderzalm says this is a time in history where the needs are even greater. "Often times these situations get so serious that people are forced to flee. The economy is struggling right now. Many people in these countries live with very little margin. And so, when something like this happens, they very quickly are struggling to just meet their very basic needs."

For Christians reaching out with love and compassion, this is an important time in these predominately Muslim countries. "I think it's these moments that help define the future of how people will view Christians and the Christian communities in their areas."

While these areas of the world seem far away, you can help. "For $12 we can provide enough medicines and supplies for 10 people for three months. $30 helps us send $1,000 worth of medicines and supplies. So, we see these images on TV, and we wonder what we can do. But really, a small amount can make a huge difference to people."

The supplies include over-the-counter medicine, antibiotics, bandages and other common supplies.

Vanderzalm believes that this is a strategic moment in the Middle East and Christians need to "reach into those situations and do all we can. I believe God is at work in these situations, and we have an opportunity to show the love of Christ in ways that perhaps we have not had for a long time."

If you'd like to help Medical Teams International with these supplies, click here.

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