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Sep 21, 2015

It’s hard to imagine persecution and violence so encompassing, and so near, that you’d have to leave your country on foot to escape it. What would it be like to put your family on a boat, realizing you all could die, but knowing that you’ll be safer than staying in your home, where you almost certainly will. We’ve seen the news reports of the war and unrest in Syria, and we’ve seen images of the Syrian refugees flooding Eastern Europe by the millions.

The crisis seems far away; but when you see images of weary and fearful families, trying to stay together in the midst of the chaos, it seems a lot closer to home. Individuals, churches, organizations, and governments around the world are asking, “How can we help?” 

Will Haney, with Church World Services, and Kristine Van Noord, with Bethany Christian Services, have been working to respond at the local, organizational, and national levels. Both have been deeply engaged for many years in issues related to refugees, and they participated in a podcast interview with Dona Abbott, Bethany’s director of refugee and immigrant services.  

Together, they provide an overview of what is happening in Syria that has caused this refugee crisis, how neighboring countries are responding, and what role the United States could play. They also suggest practical ideas for how individuals like you can help keep families together and make a difference locally by volunteering, donating clothing and household items, assisting with transportation, and more.

Bethany’s Every Child audio podcast engages leading voices from ministries, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and the arts to discuss issues relevant to children and families. Topics often include child welfare, family preservation, social justice, and culturally appropriate social services in developing countries.

Learn more, volunteer, or give at bethany.org/refugee or cwsglobal.org/HelpRefugees.