Native Missionaries Desperate to Help Syrian Refugees
Winter is slowly killing Syrian refugees in Turkey, and native missionaries are praying for help.
“Cold weather has settled in, and this is a very bad situation for refugees – the difficult living conditions have become much more difficult,” the leader of a native ministry in southern Turkey said. “Refugees are physically weaker now, as we can see just from looking at them.”
Cancer is colonizing in an increasing number of refugees due to the harsh conditions, he said. In one unofficial camp with 200 families, at least 25 people have cancer.
“Babies cannot grow normally, as they do not have proper nutrition,” the leader said. “Children are playing in the dumps and getting many kinds of disease from this. Also, they’ve had much trauma in their lives and are malnourished.”
Their already weakened bodies will not get enough food, and some of them may not survive the winter.
Though civil war in Syria is winding down, its destruction has left refugees with no homes to return to. Some have no money or means for travel back to their country, while others would be in danger for having fought on the wrong side.
“Unfortunately, in the winter season there is not much work here like there was in the spring and summer, so they will be able to bring even less food to their families,” the ministry leader said. “Most of the families do not have wood for fires to warm their tents. Many of them need blankets as well.”
Due to funding shortfalls, the ministry is hard-pressed to meet the needs of the refugees.
“People are begging for help, but we cannot do much, only pray to the Lord to provide for those we are trying to help,” the leader said. “Their already weakened bodies will not get enough food, and some of them may not survive the winter. This is what the refugees tell me.”
In one large camp ministry workers have assisted more than 1,300 families, but funding has dropped off with the war going into its final stages, and workers have been able to provide little aid, he said.
“A sight that really hurt my heart was seeing a child holding his father’s hand, and the child’s feet were naked,” he said. “There are many other children in the same condition. The refugees tell us that they really need winter boots for kids and teens, baby food, blankets and, most importantly, food for newborns.”
Workers there and in other parts of the Middle East also need Arabic Bibles to give away, as they have been proclaiming eternal life in Christ to hundreds of refugees.
“With the 80,000 refugees who have entered our city, the situation is getting worse every day,” the leader said. “We must act as fast as we can to meet the needs of these helpless people and win their love, so we can better tell them the Word of God. Please, please pray for us, that we can provide the urgent needs of the refugees.”
To bring life-saving aid to these and other refugees in the Middle East, please consider a gift today.