09 Feb Women + Children
Women and Children
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The most vulnerable groups among the Syrian refugees are the women and children. They make up to 80% of the refugee population in many settings. The U.N. reports the following:
Key issues they face:
- Fractured families – separated, or dads in jail/missing or having been killed
- Traumatized mental states
- Isolated from regular community and family support systems
- Insecure about the future
- Children forced to work – only ones able to get jobs
- Often abused & exploited
- Limited or no access to education
- New generations being born in exile – without a home or national identity
The UN reports this about women:
For hundreds of thousands of women, escaping their ruined homeland was only the first step in a journey of grinding hardship. They have run out of money, face daily threats to their safety and are being treated as outcasts for no other crime than losing their men to a vicious war. It’s shameful. They are being humiliated for losing everything.
Many face the reality of hardship and shame everywhere step along the way. Many of them share the following sentiment. “We left death in Syria to find it waiting for us here.” With broken social networks, many report that Syrian women are growing more vulnerable to sexual exploitation as their exile drags on and poverty only increases. They experience it by those on the streets, at the refugee sites, by landlords and even aid workers. “A woman alone is prey to every man.” Some are driven to survival sex to feed their children and pay rent. Some mothers are pushing their daughters into early marriage hoping they will find protection, often they find they are quickly abused in the new marriage.
The UN reports this about children:
The lost generation is what many fear for the children.
Children are especially vulnerable to malnutrition and diseases related to poor sanitation. With breakdown of health systems there have been outbreaks of highly contagious diseases, like measles and even polio. The lack of immunizations only adds to the dangers they face. They are also extremely vulnerable to sexual exploitation.
For many of the children, it’s already been 3 plus years with no schooling – partly because parents were hoping they would be back in their homeland by now. Others face the reality that there is no money for books, uniforms; or availability in the already overcrowded schools. The schools that do exist lack teachers. Many of them have been bombed and shut down.
The horrific things children have witnessed and experienced have traumatized them with emotional scarring to last a lifetime. They are faced daily with nightmares and isolating behaviors that continue the cycle of damage.
Aware of this, Jesus withdrew from that place. A large crowd followed him, and he healed all who were ill. He warned them not to tell others about him. This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations. He will not quarrel or cry out; no one will hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he has brought justice through to victory. In his name the nations will put their hope.”
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
Psalm 18.1-2 (David sang to God after being saved from all his enemies)
I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield[b] and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Pray for protection, justice, healing & action for Syrian refugee women and children
• Ask the Lord to raise up & place righteous & honorable men at each refugee site to protect and defend the women and children. Pray that there would be swift action and justice for violators.
• Intercede on behalf of the families that our strong and righteous God will allow families to be re-united in ways that they will know it’s Jesus who brought them together. That wives will know what has happened to their husbands.
• Pray for God to a put a desire in the hearts of the children to search for the God that knows their name and cares. That Jesus will be revealed to them in dreams/visions. That they will have divine encounters with God’s message and messengers.
Take Action. Let us know how you want to get involved.
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