We honored to have Restoration member Karyn Ward for share her experience responding to the Syrian refugee crisis.
About this time last year, Bill and I attended the Forum for Refugee Awareness here at the church. They ended the session with the “Starfish Story” about a boy who couldn’t save all the starfish washed up on the beach but knew that throwing even one back into the ocean made a difference because he saved that one starfish. Helping the millions of refugees whose lives have been disrupted is an impossible task, but God has given us the opportunity to help just a few that Restoration has adopted, and through that, to be a part of the saving of the life of a seven-month-old baby.
When word began to spread that the an adopted refugee mom here had a niece in Syria on the brink of starvation, we prayed for the saving of the life of that child. She and her family are in a area under siege and it’s a very frightening situation. As I prayed, I felt compelled to reach out to find help. I began calling and messaging any aid organization that we had contributed to or were on their email list and eventually found a group who was very interested in helping. They have a lot of contacts in Turkey and Syria so they began making calls. They asked for a photo of the baby and were also praying for her. Things would look hopeful, and then fall apart. We knew the area was dangerous. We’d seen news articles of aid convoys being bombed trying to get into the city. We knew that what little the family had to eat was usually bread and that there was no way the family, and particularly the baby, was getting the nutrients they needed. Numerous articles in the media reported starvation being a war tactic in Syria. Desperately we prayed that God would orchestrate getting aid to this one starving family among so many in a barricaded, besieged city with hostile activity all around. Things seemed a bit hopeless, but I’ve found this is when God does amazing work.
When we got word that an organization was willing to provide aid to the family, we were cautiously optimistic. Things fell into place and before we knew it, aid had been delivered! The baby has Pedialyte, formula and even diapers! But the good news doesn’t stop there. This organization, Kids Paradise, is going to be able to help the family when they get evacuated (hopefully soon), and may be able to help the families of some other refugees we know. God went so far above and beyond the initial prayer to save this baby.
We still have the starfish we were given last year at that forum, but now they have an entirely new meaning for us. Now when I see them, I think of the baby that God saved and I know that for that family, it made a difference, but that also through the rippling effect of His work, it will make a difference in many other lives as well.