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Calling all heroes: Help the children of Syria

This month, we’re focusing on the Syrian refugee crisis and connecting it to our global #Dreamshare campaign -- asking our friends and supporters to visit the campaign site and share their dreams for the future of Syria and its people and refugees.

Jonathan Lo with the social media team talks about the dreams that the refugee children of Syria have for their own futures…and why they need some real-life heroes.

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Superheroes are everywhere today: the Avengers, Spider-Man, X-Men, and even a new Batman. Our fascination most likely stems from one of two possibilities: We either want them to save us from our current situation, or we want to be just like them.

As a kid, there was no greater call in my life than to grow up and become a Power Ranger. I wanted to fight bad guys. But an ounce of reality hit, and I decided that the next closest thing was to be an astronaut. If aliens came, I'd already be trained in intergalactic relations, and if they didn't come, I'd still get to float around in space.

It was fun to dream and I knew that if I studied hard enough, I could make it a reality. I'm not an astronaut today, but the point is that I had the luxury to dream about my future.

That’s not the case for every child. When colleagues interviewed children from Syria living in Lebanon, their words broke my heart. I felt hopeless.

Ibrahim, 8-year-old Syrian boy. Ibrahim, 8-year-old Syrian boy. (Photo: ©2013 Patricia Mouamar/World Vision)

 

Nour, 11-year-old Syrian girl. Nour, 11-year-old Syrian girl. (Photo: ©2013 Patricia Mouamar/World Vision)

 

Mohammad, 7-year-old Syrian boy. Mohammad, 7-year-old Syrian boy. (Photo: ©2013 Patricia Mouamar/World Vision)

 

Over 2 million refugees, half of whom are children, have fled violence in Syria, and more than 600,000 now reside in Lebanon.

These children aren't dreaming of adventure. They dream of peace. I believe that a child can’t dream of adventure until he first feels at peace. And a child can’t feel at peace until she feels at home.

What's happening in Syria is an injustice to children everywhere. Aren't we, as followers of Christ, called to care for refugees? When God dramatically rescues the Israelites from persecution in Egypt, He commands them:

"Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt." —Exodus 23:9 (NIV)

I'm no seasoned biblical scholar, but I'm pretty sure that when God tells us what not to do, we should proactively do the opposite.

"You shall not murder" means "Love your neighbor"
"You shall not steal"
means "Be generous"
"You shall not give false testimony"
means "Live with integrity"
"Do not oppress"
means "Love and comfort"

Simply stated, Exodus tells us that we need to actively love and comfort foreigners (hint: refugees).

Sometimes I wish that Power Rangers are real. Couldn't they sweep in and save Syrian kids from mayhem and death? Couldn't they actively love and comfort the refugees living in Lebanon and Jordan? Couldn't they return children to their homes, restored and rebuilt from ruins?

Power Rangers aren't real, but we are -- and God is.

I've matured a bit since age 7 and no longer dream of becoming a Power Ranger, but my dreams today revolve around American Christians stepping up and showing the world our core -- that we care, and care deeply.

If we can actually do something to bring love and comfort to children, we need to -- urgently. Every kid, including Syrian kids, deserves to dream of adventures, and "home" should be a given.


Make a one-time donation to help World Vision provide emergency assistance for Syrian refugees. Your gift will help us deliver basic hygiene kits and food vouchers for refugee families, as well as support initiatives like the remedial education program, helping refugee children continue their education away from home.

Please join us in prayer for all World Vision staff members working around the world, particularly in this region of conflict.

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