My name is Megan Engel. My husband and I have been participating in liturgy at Vox since April. As I watch the news unfold about the horrors in Iraq, the mass executions and countless people fleeing for their lives, my heart is breaking. Please join me in bringing about change in this awful situation.
As ISIS mounts its campaign of violence within Iraq and Syria, the refugee crisis in the region is escalating to catastrophic proportions. It is estimated that over 1.2 million people have been displaced to date by the horrific violence. It is a crisis only God can solve, but there are two things God’s people can do to join Him in turning the tide of violence and in ministering to its victims.
First of all, we can and should gather together and pray for a miracle. God gave Asa, the king of Judah, victory over an Ethiopian army that was twice as large as Judah’s, destroying it until none were left. He freed Peter from a Jerusalem prison, and sent an earthquake to free Paul from a Philippian prison. And He showered Austin with rain this summer because His people gathered and prayed.
We will be gathering together before liturgy on Sunday, September 7th, to pray earnestly for God’s hand of mercy to stop the violence of ISIS and bring peace to Iraq and Syria and to meet the needs of the more than 1.2 million people displaced by this violence. If you are able to join us, please meet us in the portable at 10 am.
I also encourage you to take some time in your midweek group each week to pray for this crisis.
Secondly, we can donate to organizations engaged in refugee relief. There are tens of thousands of displaced persons flooding into areas that are already overwhelmed from the influx of Syrian refugees over the past year. Resources are limited, and they need help meeting the increasing needs.
As the church, we are called to help the oppressed, to feed the hungry, to provide for the poor. These are all dire needs right now in Iraq and the countries to which these refugees are fleeing. Although we cannot be there to meet these people’s needs face-to-face, we can give to organizations currently serving these people. In addition to meeting physical needs, our generosity provides those fleeing for their lives with a tangible reminder and assurance that the world has not forgotten them, that the church cares and is praying.
The following Christian agencies are partnering with Christian relief work in Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, and Turkey, areas to which most of the refugees are fleeing.
To help organizations providing relief within Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan:
To help Turkish churches minister to hundreds of thousands of refugees who have made it to Turkey:
We have been abundantly blessed, that we might bless abundantly. Please give generously. Please pray earnestly.
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter— when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and He will say: ‘Here am I.’”
–Isaiah 58:6-9a (NIV)
[Photo by Christiaan Briggs on Flickr]