How Christians can help the people of Syria

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you invited me in; I needed clothes and you clothed me; I was sick and you looked after me; I was in prison and you came to visit me.Matthew 25:35-40

It is hard to imagine a situation more evocative of Jesus’ words than the current crisis in Syria. Many within the country are starving. Over 2 million are now strangers in neighbouring countries, depending on the kindness of others. These refugees, plus the 6.5 million people internally displaced, often have only the clothes they wore when they fled — and Syrian winters can be cruel. Over half of Syria’s hospitals are severely damaged or destroyed, and medical staff and patients are targeted, so it can be almost impossible for the sick and injured to seek help. And many have been arrested, imprisoned and tortured — including children, peaceful protesters and medical staff.

We have people on the ground in Syria, able to take your donations, care and compassion to the people most in need, regardless of their faith background: no one is asked whether they are Christian, Muslim or of any other religion. If you feel called to help make a difference to the Syrian people, here are some things you and your church could do to help:

Here’s what one church did
St Mary’s Church, Stoke Newington, held a Harvest Festival collection & raised £754.13! 

Pray for Syria

Please pray personally, with friends, in your fellowship groups and as the church body. If you have a prayer group, please ask them to make Syria a constant prayer point, if it isn’t already. Consider hosting a special prayer event for Syria, perhaps in conjunction with other local churches. Give thanks to God for the way He works through all of those who are helping.

 

Raise awareness about Syria

Not everyone understands just how bad things are in Syria. Some people think that the dismantling of chemical weapons in late 2013 made things better inside Syria; in fact, things get worse every day. Please talk to people: our webpage has up-to-date information & statistics.

Contribute to one of our Big Aid Drops

We organise a ‘Big Aid Drop’ three times a year, whereby we collect donations of clothing, medical equipment, sleeping bags and baby goods which we then take into Syria. Our webpage has details of the next scheduled event and what we’re collecting (please don’t collect anything which isn’t on the list). You could organise a collection at your local church or among a group of churches and then deliver the goods to us, or you could act as a regional collection point.

Syrian winters can be very harsh, especially for vulnerable people with inadequate shelter, clothing and food. You could get people buying, knitting, crocheting or sewing all year round (blankets, jumpers and hats are especially welcome), and then collect them together for our Big Winter Aid Drop.

If you run a business which could provide larger quantities of aid, or know someone who does, please let us know. We’re particularly looking for pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, clothing, blankets, sleeping bags and even generators.

Fundraise for us

Inevitably, one of the most important ways you can help is by sending money. We are a particularly efficient charity: when you send £1 to us, we take £1 into Syria, because all of our operating and administration costs are covered by reclaimed Gift Aid in the UK, and in Turkey and Syria by our partnership agreements with INGOs. We also maximise the impact of every £1 given by purchasing a lot of our aid in Turkey and Syria, where we can buy more for the money.

You could have a special ‘giving day’ at your church, dedicated to Syria, but there are also lots of fun and imaginative ways you could raise money. Of course, the more creative your idea, the more you’ll be raising awareness and encouraging other people to get involved, too.

If you’re stuck for ideas, there are some here at our fundraising ideas page.

Have fun — and thank you!

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’.” — Acts 20:35



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