While peace talks between fighting factions in Syria are attempted in Geneva, Switzerland, dismal living conditions continue for millions of Syrians. Since the beginning of the bitter civil war, it is estimated that more than 130,000 people have been killed and over two million have been forced to flee to neighboring countries. Half of them are children, most under the age of eleven. Another four million people have been internally displaced. It is estimated that Syrian refugees now make up ten percent of the Jordanian population, and over one million have relocated in the small country of Lebanon. Bitter winter conditions have increased the suffering. Most refugees and displaced people live in tents and other substandard conditions, in places no one else wants to live. Food is scarce. Basic needs like water and clothing are lacking. Snow and mud are constant hindrances. The trauma is a catalyst for a host of psychological and sociological maladies Efforts of relief agencies are hampered by political instability, the weather, and the ongoing war.
Let’s pray for the Syrian refugees. Their physical needs are overwhelming. As we pray for donor nations and the UN to use effective support strategies, let’s not forget to pray for a strong Christian presence in the midst of these efforts. Pray that the light of Christ will brighten the darkness of this tragedy