Last week when I wrote elsewhere that Christians should start networking to be ready for the possibility of Christian refugee children from the Middle East, it felt like a far-fetched challenge. Our border is open to children, but the Christian children in Iraq require more logistics to travel here than the children of Central America led here by coyote guides. The idea seemed remote.
But events happen.
The terrorist entity now calling itself the Islamic State is targeting the Christian children of Iraq. These children are not facing just the generalized violence in lands where the government cannot control their resident mafia. They are being systematically beheaded. Women and girls are being raped and taken from their families to become unconsenting wives. Perhaps worse. And, finally, the world media is taking note.
The world can be a dark place. Genocides happen, they just aren’t always known. We know about this genocide happening right now. Suddenly, the need to prepare for refugees isn’t so theoretical.
The hard part will be getting the children out and here. I hope that those in a position to extricate them are already working the problem. (And no, I don’t mean the government. Oskar Schindler wasn’t a government official. Harriet Tubman wasn’t, either.) Upon the assumption that they are, then we should prepare.
Decide what you are prepared to do. Take in a child? Support families who do? Help your church make a temporary shelter? I can’t make a comprehensive list of To Dos, or I could but they’d be inadequate as the details are still in motion. Nor can I name every organization that might help right now. I figure I could spend a few hours calling contacts to come up with one or two to report. Or I could spend an hour writing a post calling for readers to work their own contacts and networks and open many potential avenues for help. I offer to collect and post contact information for parties who can help. Put them in the comments and I will organize and post them later.
For those of us not in a position to get the children out, let us spend the waiting days figuring out how to help them when they get here.