Christian Aid Mission Says Syrian Refugee Crisis Is an Opportunity for Christians to Show the Love of Christ

(PHOTO: REUTERS/DIMITRIS MICHALAKIS) A Syrian refugee carries a young girl moments after arriving on a dinghy on the Greek island of Lesbos, September 10, 2015. Most of the people flooding into Europe are refugees fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries who have a legal right to seek asylum, the United Nations said on Tuesday.
(PHOTO: REUTERS/DIMITRIS MICHALAKIS)
A Syrian refugee carries a young girl moments after arriving on a dinghy on the Greek island of Lesbos, September 10, 2015. Most of the people flooding into Europe are refugees fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries who have a legal right to seek asylum, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

Christian Aid Mission, a nonprofit organization that assists over 500 ministries overseas, has said that the ongoing conflict that is tearing apart Syria and creating millions of refugees and displaced people is an opportunity for Christians to show the love of Christ, which is opening the world’s eyes.

Steve Van Valkenburg, Christian Aid Mission’s area director for the Middle East, told The Christian Post in a phone interview on Thursday that despite the confusion and complexity of the ongoing Syrian civil war, one thing that is clear is that it presents a way for Christians to minister to the suffering people by showing them what the love of Christ is about.

“I think that a lot of refugees see that there is something different there, they see the Muslim on Muslim fighting, and then they see how the Christians are reaching out with love and caring — that has to do something with their hearts,” Valkenburg told CP.

He added that when Muslims in Syria see indigenous Christian agencies reaching out to them, they often ask “why are you helping?”

Valkenburg explained that Christians are not just working with a charity, but “we’re working with Jesus Christ. We’re not working to build an Earthly kingdom. I think that has to get the attention of the world.”

Christian Aid Mission has a long history, and since 1953 has been establishing decades-long relationships with ministries all over the world, providing prayer, advocacy, and financial support. The organization’s purpose is to seek out local indigenous mission agencies and help them with all kinds of assistance, including church planting.

Valkenburg said that one of the differences with the ministries that they assist is that the local groups do not necessarily have a lot of aid, but offer what the refugees, who have suffered a lot of trauma and loss, need the most — not just physical, but also spiritual and emotional help.

“Really what they need is someone to listen to their story, to cry with them, to pray with them,” he said.

“It’s more than just giving a box every week from a container, it’s actually having somebody show care.”

He added that many Christian organizations on the ground in Syria are doing just that, noting that Christian Aid Mission is currently helping 16 indigenous groups in Syria and surrounding countries.

“The heart of the Christian wants to show love in the name of Christ,” he added.

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Stoyan Zaimov

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