There is a great deal of evil and tragedy in this world, so much so that I believe we have become apathetic. The problems are so vast that we cannot imagine how doing anything could really make a difference. The problems are too far away or require skills that we do not possess; so we do nothing.
This morning, I read the New York Times article ISIS Enshrines a Theology of Rape. In it, Rukmini Callimachi shares the horrifying truth of what is happening to the Yazidi people in ISIS-controlled areas of Iraq: slavery, murder, and rapes in the name of “worship”. He speaks of slave auctions and the belief that raping these girls will bring the men “closer to God”. It is calculated, expansive, and is at this very moment violating thousands of young women. It is appalling, yet is real.
Ann Voskamp on her blog tells of her trip to Iraq and her work with Preemptive Love, a charity providing humanitarian aide to the people of Iraq. She speaks of ISIS cutting the throats of babies and raping 9 year old girls. She shares the stories of the grief stricken women with whom she cried; women who have buried children and are now living in shipping containers trying to scrape by with nothing.
While ISIS is wreaking havoc on the people of Iraq, a civil war in Syria is sending thousands of refugees into neighboring Iraq; Syrian refugees fleeing from one war torn region to another.
It seems like an impossible situation.
During World War II, an unthinkable 6 million Jews were killed. But it would have been so much worse had it not been for the rescuers. For instance, the Danish Resistance rescued nearly their entire population of Jewish citizens (over 7,000). In the Netherlands, you have heroes like Corrie Ten Boom and Diet Eman. And while we may recall the stories of Oskar Schindler and Irena Sendler, there were so many others. Many whose names are engraved in monuments, but still more whose faithful deeds were never recorded. These people made a difference in the lives of individuals even though they could not stop the war.
This is our time. Maybe we can not stop ISIS, but we can do something. We must be the rescuers.
1. Get Political
Contact your congressional representatives. It only takes a few minutes to contact them and let them know that this is not acceptable on our watch.
2. Give generously
Donate to a charity that is working with the people. Here are a few to consider:
Caritas – A Catholic organization working with the refugees of Northern Iraq
Preemptive Love – A medical organization that is using their experience to provide humanitarian aid
Doctors Without Borders – Working with the Syrian refugees fleeing into Iraq
Samaritan’s Purse – Working with the refugees throughout the Middle East fleeing ISIS
Catalyst Ministries – Developing partnerships to help prevent the human trafficking of refugees in the Middle East
3. Become a voice
Share this and other articles and blog posts. Educate others and encourage them to act.
Just 30 minutes of your time and $30 really can change the world.
And who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?- Esther 4:14b