On February 23rd, ISIS swept into 13 villages in the northern region of Syria and kidnapped 220 hostages, all of them Christians. All week my heart has been heavy for these families, especially the children taken.
According to the BBC, earlier today#ISIS released #19hostages, all of them over the age of 50, after receiving some sort of payment.
This is AMAZING to me.
Yes, it is only 19. Yes, they are the elderly. And yes, there are still 201 Assyrian Christian hostages being held by ISIS. But today,19 are FREE and I am grateful.
As I have been fumbling through Lent as I usually do, my heart has grown heavy for the children that are being affected by the conflicts in the Middle East. Whether it be the Assyrian Muslims dying of starvation, or the refugee children dying of hypothermia or the Christian children being beheaded in broad daylight by this thing called #ISIS. Yes, beheaded. And yes, because they are Christian. Many are calling this the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. Millions are displaced with no where to go.
What do I do, here on the other side of the world? I pray. I hold my children more often. I touch their faces gingerly, and give them lots of kisses. I hold their hand when we sit at the dinner table. I think,”Please, God, give all suffering children the gift of touch from someone near. Please fill them with grace and peace. Please let me not take my freedom, my safety, and my children for granted.” My heart has become softer towards my own children as I pray for and study the suffering of others. How callous I have been. How utterly unaffected I have been by this catastrophe.
God, please be with all leaders in their response to this. Please. We are a people to young to know how to respond with our own knowledge. We need Your grace and Your wisdom. Please, please, please, I pray on behalf of these children. If it be in Your will to save them from a horrible fate at the hands of ISIS…please…please bring a miracle. Please let me know how to help today, on this side of the world, and grant me the grace to follow.