Again, I observed all the oppression that takes place under the sun. I saw the tears of the oppressed, with no one to comfort them. The oppressors have great power, and their victims are helpless. (Ecclesiastes 4:1)
Read: Ecclesiastes 4:1 – 6:12, 2 Corinthians 6:14 – 7:7, Psalm 47:1-9, Proverbs 22:16
Relate: Four million. That is roughly the total number of Syrians who have fled their homeland and the terror that reigns there in a desperate hope for a better tomorrow. Most of them are women and children. Almost half of those, 1.93 million are living here in Turkey. These numbers don’t include those who have fled from Iraq or those who have been displaced from their homes but are still struggling to survive without leaving Syria.
One thousand five hundred. By the end of September, that is how many of these refugees will have been approved for resettlement in the US. That isn’t the number that will have actually arrived, just those given permission. That number makes me sick. I’m embarrassed to be known as an American. Roughly twice that number have died or disappeared this year in their attempt to find their way into Europe. No country is more able to absorb those in such a situation than America. Our refusal to do so makes us culpable in this global crime.
React: On April 13, this year, a Republican senator from South Carolina wrote a letter to Kerry trying to block the influx of dozens… yes dozens, of refugees into Spartanburg SC. Gowdy is chairman of the house subcommittee for refugee resettlement a large chunk of the US’s criminal negligence in this area falls on him and those in that committee. Texas congressman Mike McCaul has also been vocal in trying to stir up fear and racism in his attempts to block the admitting of any Syrian refugees into America. His goal is to bog the already ridiculously slow process down in ever more bureaucracy while the oppressed wait ever longer for the opportunity to begin their lives anew.
Respond: Here is a link where you can contact members from the Senate and the House (Immigration and Human Rights). I rarely if ever get political and The River Walk, but this injustice goes way beyond politics. “If anyone then knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it: it is sin for them.” (James 4:17) So don’t just sit there… do something.
26 thoughts on “Ecclesiastes 4:1 (Do Something)”
Man–I did NOT want to start my day crying, but “dozens?” Fear has no place in love, and love is what we are called to do.
Oh–and thanks for the links!
I am not American, but I feel your sorrow. I too woke up to similar pictures, and feel more should be done
But I am not sure how much blame should be apportioned to countries that do help
The way I see it there are those that help and those that don’t. Those that help should be applauded, while those that don’t….
I am watching this space with interest…
Although American, I am living here in Turkey. My host country can definitely be applauded for helping. The government here is doing what it can but also over and over again I am seeing individuals here who also go out of their way to help. I can count in the hundreds those I have met and have spoken to who are giving of their time and their resources and their heart to help the hundreds of thousands of refugees who are living here in Istanbul. This is true both of local Turks and also internationals who are living here whether they are American, British, German, Azerbaijani, Kazakh, Congolese, Algerian, Moroccan… and I can go on listing countries represented by students and expats who are giving and doing so much.
Compared to what is being done here, what little help being offered by governments like America and the UK is less than a band-aid applied to a broken arm. Their neglect with regard to this global crisis is nothing less than criminal negligence.
What is the best way to donate money to help the refugees? Can you take donations directly or are there organizations you’ve seen on the ground that are trustworthy and need our support?
I’m disappointed in myself for not paying more attention to this horror. 😦
There are a couple smaller NGO’s that I am familiar with but I would have to get back to you on links for them. Some larger, very reputable organizations I would never hesitate to recommend are:
Samaritan’s Purse – http://www.samaritanspurse.org/article/aid-for-syrian-refugees/
IRC – http://www.rescue.org/iraq
Save The Children – https://secure.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.9164083/k.948B/Iraqi_Childrens_Relief_Fund/apps/ka/sd/donor.asp
In New Zealand our prime minister drags his heels , despite the numbers of refugees we take in each year has remained unchanged from when it was set in 1987! Lift the quota already!
Thank you for bringing awareness to this. It is impossible to claim to love all of God’s children and refuse to help them at the same time.
Is there any way for American families to voluntarily sponsor Syrian families? How do we open the bureaucratic doors so that more refugees can take shelter here? What can we do?
I will look into this more first thing tomorrow. My initial (1AM) thought is that the government works with certain np agencies who in turn network with smaller on the ground groups, mostly churches that host the families and help them adapt to the practical ins and outs of starting a new life in America. About twenty years ago my dad was that on the ground resource in helping bring a few thousand Vietnamese refugees into Rochester NY and my knee jerk response is coming out of that knowledge.
I will see what I can find out tomorrow.
I’ve spent a bit of time looking today and I am surprised at how little information I was able to dig up. I have sent a few emails out to people I know who might be in the know. I also did dig up a few more links.
Form for those in Canada to determine eligibility to serve as refugee sponsors:
Official white house petition to open our doors to more Syrian refugees:
Resource center for refugees in Central NY:
Episcopal Migration Ministries:
Jackpot. USCRI links to everywhere it is resourcing in the US:
My husband works for an international agency that is helping the crisis. I’ve asked him about it, and he is going to send out an email. Thanks for the information and thanks for writing about this crisis and covering it with compassion.
I have been following some of it on the news and it is just heart wrenching and to know that the countries that have the power and money to help just turn the head is just shameful.
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
E .E Cummings
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Thanks for this post, BJ. Sorry I missed it until now. Thanks for the encouragement from the Word to do something!
Yes, God created us to do something….not just to sit on the sidelines and say – wow, I hope God does something about this situation. This is an opportunity to be where God is working…in the hearts and in the lives of the hurting, the scared, and the hopeless. Our prayers are important, yes. But even more so – our actions.
….and yet we close our eyes to the borders of mexico…..it doesn’t make any sense.
I worked for a short time at a boys home in Houston. More than a few of the boys there were children of illegal immigrants whose parents were forced to return to Mexico. Our policy on that border is an injustice the US will one day be held accountable for.
Hi Beejai, one of the comments asked about how to contribute to help the in this crisis. Recently Ann Voskamp posted a list of organizations assisting refugees as well as items that can be donated and how to send them. http://www.aholyexperience.com/2015/09/5-ways-to-stand-up-be-the-church-in-the-worlds-worst-refugee-crisis-since-world-war-ii/
Thanks for raising awareness of the millions suffering in this crisis.
Thanks. I have compiled a list of links of my own over at Betweentwoseas.org
Oh my God, all this is such a shame. I was away and did not see this photo of this child. Oh my God, all this is such shame. So much tears. And they keep on fighting and fighting since centuries, since millenia, when will all this madness stop. Please Bashar El Assad and Vladimir Poutine, stop all this, accept the fact that this country never belonged to you and never will be. As a stateman you should protect your people and not offer them as sacrifice to your political ideal, especially if this one is not the best one. Leave power now, before its too late, before the fire of Hell blaze into your soul for eternity, you and all your military warlords… Accept the fact that a democratic system would be better than your hidden fascism. Your throne sits on a pile of wrecks and cadavers. Use your last drops of power to at least do this and ask from protection somewhere else.
Sorry, for these remarks on your blog, I hope that it was not too much offensive. I was kind of really tired the other day when I saw this photo and it just revolted me. I think that I went too far recently in my spiritual meditative practices and I began to have some kind of unwanted spiritual phenomena and mental dizorganization, it happens sometimes, I know that it will slowly settle but I really need to rest. I was thinking that I was coming from orion and that I was an incarnation of a powerful spiritual master, so after sometimes I decided to stop all spiritual yogic practices (kundalini yoga). Once again, sorry for this.
Best of luck
kundalini yoga is demonic. Nothing good will ever come from it.