Opinion

The refugee crisis: Why you should care

In the past four days alone, more than 200,000 people have entered Turkey, fleeing from the violence in Syria. The Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan is a temporary home to about 80,000 refugees, with nearly half of them under the age of 12. Unfortunately, this is not atypical, and many more such camps exist in the region.

We often hear about far off conflicts and crises: the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the horrific violence occurring in the Middle East at the hands of ISIS and even refugees who have been displaced for decades. But how often do we stop and think about the people behind the conflict? How often do we realize that these people have often witnessed violent atrocities, that they are people without homes, separated from loved ones? Do we realize that they are not all incapable, starving people but entrepreneurs and business owners that went from wealth to refugee in a matter of days?

We The Threefold Advocate want you to stop and consider these people. Yes, many of them are far away, but their plight should weigh on your heart. Some refugees even live near us. Their struggle is not that far removed from our lives.

Popular photographer Brandon Stanton, known for his Humans of New York project, has been on a U.N.-sponsored trip the past few weeks, documenting some of the people who live in these refugee camps. His photos have shown that the refugees are people with concerns and needs and dreams, just like us.

As Christians, we are called to care for our neighbors; the widows, the orphans and those less fortunate than ourselves. We are incredibly blessed to live in a peaceful country, with stable jobs and good education. For the majority of people, we do not have to worry about food, or water or safety.

But these people are far less fortunate. In many cases, they have abandoned their entire livelihoods to seek safety. They were people with lives and jobs and homes and security, and all that was taken away from them overnight. Unless you have been in this situation, it is difficult to even comprehend.

We The Threefold Advocate believe we should step up to help these people in whatever way that we can, whether this is donating to the United Nations, giving our time to work with humanitarian organizations or praying for the hundreds of thousands of refugees across the globe.