As Christians, we are continually bombarded with issues, both domestic and international, that call for our attention. With Biblical mandates to love our neighbors as ourselves and care for the poor, orphans, widows, and aliens, we have a big task ahead of us, and it can be overwhelming without a clear place to start. Today is World Refugee Day, making caring for refugees a very good place to start. Continue Reading »
Posts Tagged ‘Refugee’
Filed under: Community Development, General
I can’t imagine my family being forced to flee my home and my country because of violence or persecution. However this is the reality for 43 million people in the world who have been displaced from their communities. One third of these, nearly 15 million, have fled from their home countries. In the past week alone, 400,000 people have had to flee from their homes in southern Kyrgyzstan due to ethnic violence – 100,000 of these people have fled across the border into Uzbekistan.
More than half of all current refugees have been displaced for more than five years. In recent years it has become increasingly difficult for refugees to return to their home countries – only 250,000 returned last year. Even more troubling is that less than one percent will ever be resettled in another country. This Sunday, June 20 is World Refugee Day. Let’s pray that on this day we will be especially mindful of the other 99% and that we might seek new ways to truly welcome the stranger (Matthew 25:34-36).
For those who will be in St. Paul June 24-27 for the ECC Annual Meeting, there will be several opportunities to experience a bit of what it is like to be a refugee at The Refugee Journey learning experience. You can learn more on the Annual Meeting website here.
If you haven’t already, please register to be a part of The Refugee Journey. We hope to see you there.
Filed under: Community Development
Tags: Medical, Refugee
As an intern and a new addition to the Covenant World Relief (CWR) team, I have spent my first week on the job learning about the values of CWR, the specific projects we are partnering with throughout the world, and the basics behind the operations of a non-profit organization. I was extremely eager to jump in and discover how I could make an impact globally from our humble office in Chicago.
I opened one of my first project reports, a CWR partnership with the “Karen Department of Health and Welfare” in Burma. This program provides medical care, supplies, and training to various villages in Burma (affecting populations near 11,500) with the funds from CWR specifically going towards medication. These resources are made available to villagers most in need, regardless of religion, ethnicity, gender or age. The mobile health clinics treat patients suffering from malaria, respiratory ailments and land mine injuries. I learned about the wonderful improvements that have been seen such as decreased malaria rates and an increase in the knowledge of local village health providers. This partnership is just one example of the effective relief and development projects of CWR.
Continuing my reading of our partners’ experiences, I found that there are also constant struggles faced in the efforts towards development. In Burma, a country plagued by rigid political controls and systemic violence, our partners continue to trek into remote villages to provide care, despite the imminent danger and constant attacks by the Burmese Army. This last February, the Tee Mu Ta clinic was burned down and ransacked by the Burmese army. The villagers and clinic staff thankfully escaped into the jungle, however the clinic was looted and some medicine was stolen. It is so important that we continue to support these villagers in the struggle for life and are able to show Christ’s love through serving them in their quest for a peaceful and healthy existence. In practicing relief efforts with a kingdom focus, we are able to support not only the immediate need for medicine but also create a systemic difference by teaching local staff how to provide their own care.
It was important for me to see how effective the CWR partnerships can be, but how this effectiveness is thwarted in times of unrest. I urge you to partner with CWR in development efforts as well as in prayer. Pray for the administrative staff at the Karen Department of Health as they educate clinic staff and for their safety as they plan and make trips to remote villages. Pray for the political leaders of Burma that an emphasis on human rights be brought to the forefront of their doctrines. Please pray for the protection of the villagers and for physical and emotional healing as they rebuild their lives. Although we are thousands of miles away from the conflict in Burma, we are able to directly support the work done by the Karen Mobile Health Clinics through the responsible use of funds and constant prayer. We thank you for your continued involvement with CWR sustainable development programs throughout the year.
*(Top image is the Karen clinic staff with the Nai Yo Ta village children; Bottom image is the destroyed medicine after the Burmese army raid of Tee Mu Ta)*
- Written by Katie Burzynski, CWR Intern