Syrian Refugee Relief
Updated August 2013
Your donation to CAMA Syrian Refugee Relief will be used for both short-term relief and long-term development among Syrian refugees. donate now»
In 2011, civil war broke out in Syria. Since that time, 1.6 million Syrians have been forced to flee their country. CAMA, in partnership with a local pastor and The Christian and Missionary Alliance, is reaching out to the over 500,000 refugees who have made their way to a certain neighboring country.
CAMA workers and the local pastor spend much time visiting refugees in their homes, a sign of respect in Arab culture. Basic food and household supplies are often delivered during visits, giving dignity by not forcing refugees to walk across town with an armful of handouts. In addition to bringing supplies for physical needs, the visitors also have opportunities to ask about personal needs and then lift up those needs. “Houses and hearts are open to us,” says the national pastor. “Nothing is accidental. The Lord is moving people from area to area for a purpose.” See more in the video below.
Please continue in prayer for the Syrian refugees and those reaching out to them. The needs are great. As initial relief continues to be a priority, the joint team is creating a plan to expand relief efforts and eventually move into long-term development and rebuilding. They ask for wisdom in forming the best strategy to meet the massive needs that increase daily.
January 2013 Update
As Syrian refugees flood a neighboring country as clashes between rebel forces and the Syrian Army continue, a local Alliance pastor and his congregation continue to use their building as a base to assist refugees. Over 3,200 Syrian families now live in the city and because the church became involved in distributing food, mattresses, blankets and stoves, the church now has a reputation as a place to receive aid. On an average, 12-15 new families register and receive aid at the church each day.
From the start, the church has taken a wholistic approach to serving the Syrians. Distributions have been followed up with bi-weekly visits to the refugees’ homes. By sitting with them for an hour or so and drinking tea, teams of volunteers from the church have been providing significant psychosocial support. The friendships that the volunteers have with the refugees have helped the refugees to process the horrors of war that they have experienced. These relationships of trust will be the key for bridging the refugees’ eventual transition back to more stable living conditions.
Each week the church is a hub of activity with new registrations, clothing distributions, volunteer team meetings, and special programs for children. Due to these activities, the current structure is being used to its physical limits and the church is involved in a building project.
CAMA sent $17,500 to the church from its Disaster Relief Fund to purchase a van for the transportation of supplies and aid workers. In addition, CAMA sent a couple in August 2012 to work alongside the local pastor for three months in meeting the needs of the Syrian refugees. This couple plans to return in late spring of 2013.