CHICAGO, IL (September 16, 2015) — Covenant World Relief and World Mission are working with local partners to provide relief to refugees in Lebanon and Europe.
More than 1.3 million refugees have moved to Lebanon and now comprise 25 percent of that nation’s population. Most have moved into areas that already were impoverished.
A current project conducted with MTI provides dental care to children as well as treatment for non-communicable diseases in adults such as hypertension, heart disease, and lung disease. Other projects have included providing emergency medical supplies and training volunteers to do community health awareness projects.
Covenant World Relief uses money from its general fund to help the MTI work in Syria. Contributions to the fund can be made online.
The United Nations has said it has almost no money for treating what should be preventable diseases and other care. Rapidly deteriorating conditions in the camps has been a major factor in the expanding crisis in Europe.
Covenant missionaries in Europe have worked with local partners to provide clothing, food, and shelter; assistance in applying for asylum; and counseling for those suffering from war-related trauma.
Not all of the refugees are from Syria. In a recent newsletter, Rhonda Egging, a missionary in Sweden, recounted how she and others recently helped a large family from Libya that showed up on her and her husband’s doorstep.
One of them said, “There is a terrible war in Libya. We could not stay. We paid to escape in small boats. We were rescued and left alone in Italy. We only had what we wore. We paid for a big truck to pick us up and take us to Sweden. The immigration authorities assigned us to live in this small town. People we met in the village said this house of worship is where we should come for clothes.”
Funds from this month’s Friends of World Mission appeal will be used to help further the ministries in Europe. A dedicated giving page is posted online.
Al Tizon, executive minister of the Serve Globally ministry area, said hearing numbers in the millions and hundreds of thousands can make a problem seem overwhelming and can discourage people from helping. But, he added, “We’re not called to solve the whole refugee crisis. We can all do something, though.” That could range from volunteering with organizations helping refugees to learning more about the crisis and encouraging others to consider how they can help.
Referencing Matthew 17:20, Tizon said, “In the hands of God, our collective mustard seeds of faith can make a big difference.”