From Linda to You – April 2014

Rebuilding Hope, April 2014 edition
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Linda200Dear Friends,

You and I are witnessing a shocking humanitarian crisis today in Syria.

All-out civil war has claimed more than 140,000 lives. More than 2.489 million people — half of them women and children — have fled their homes to seek refuge in neighboring countries.

Those numbers speak to the enormity of this cataclysm, yet numbers alone cannot tell the story of human misery that has driven so many from their homes and their country.

You and I have been deeply distressed by the staggering violence of this conflict — by reports of chemical attacks, torture, and the murder of helpless women and children.

I stand with you in your sorrow and outrage today, but I also share your passionate determination to provide welcome to people like Syria’s vulnerable refugees. Because of your conscience and your compassion, there is hope for people like these.

With your support, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service has raised a prophetic voice for the victims of war in Syria.

We insisted that our own country welcome more Syrian refugees. We fought for additional funding needed to resettle these and other refugees. And we are working to eliminate broad exclusions that arbitrarily doom deserving refugees to exile. We will not stop.

But most of all, we are rallying supporters like you to pave the way of welcome for the Syrian refugees who will arrive in our country later this year.

Through the United Nations, 20 countries have agreed to resettle 18,500 refugees. We are asking the United States to open its doors to the remaining 11,500. LIRS and Refugee Council USA have also recommended that 15,000 Syrian refugees be resettled each year for as long as there is a need. These are people who cannot go home, people who carry unimaginable sorrow — but who also hope for safety, for a brighter future, for a new place to call home.

Those who look to America for welcome include the most defenseless: women and girls at risk, survivors of torture and violence, and persons with serious medical needs or disabilities.

With your support, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and our national network stand ready to do what it takes to welcome Syria’s most helpless refugees into American communities — and to provide care and consolation after the trauma of war.

Thank you for standing with us, and for being the hands of Christ’s welcome for our world’s most vulnerable people. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service has always been among the first to recognize situations of crisis, as in the case of Sudan’s ‘Lost Boys.’ And today we are crying out for the hurting people of Syria.

I thank you for your commitment to help those who live with suffering. Through you, peace, hope, and love continue to prevail!

Yours in faith,

Linda Hartke

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