I’m sorry you lost your family. Kind of.

There is a man in Syria named Amjad al-Abdullah who experienced everyone’s worst nightmare today. I’m not sure if you’ve heard his name, but maybe you saw him scream and sob through the rubble as he watched his 5 year old daughter desperately holding on to his seven-month-old baby, trying to save her life. Did you know that his 5 year old ended up dying? The baby girl is still in intensive care. Wonder who is fronting that bill – super glad it’s not me. I’m not sure who he will turn to for comfort tonight either, since his wife was killed in that same bombing too. Bummer.

But man, am I sure glad he stayed in Syria. It would have been so inconvenient if those kids had showed up on my door step. Suuuuper inconvenient. His wife would have probably needed diapers for their baby every day and would have maybe been malnourished cuz that war has been going on for like seven years now, and if she couldn’t make milk, I would have had to buy formula – all that stuff is expensive. I have to have my coffee each morning or I just can’t get through the day, and my clothing surprise-box subscription is super important so I can mix up my OOTD for insta and helping buy baby milk really would have taken a cut into my finances and my feed that I really just can’t afford right now. And who is supposed to fund a vaccine for his 5-year-old to go to school? Me? No way… That is honestly not my responsibility. But I guess we don’t have to worry about that anymore tho….. so glad they stayed in Syria where they belong. Glad we don’t have to worry about what to do with them anymore, and I don’t have to have him showing up competing for jobs with me. Maybe now he will try and go fix his country and call up Putin to talk about not dropping anymore bombs on his home instead of just leaving Syria without a fight. I’m sure although no one is allowed to own guns, and he’s probably never shot one like most of the Syrians I know, that he could probably strike up a conversation with the rebels, or ISIS, or the army that supports the people that bombed his home and destroyed his entire life and pick a side to try and support. He should do that.

I’m also so glad that now I don’t have to find a tent for them in the camp I work in, because there literally just isn’t anymore room for them in Europe or here in the states. As I drove through the West last week for the 4th of July and had complete pockets of no service due to the open land and lack of people, I thought – dang, we just can’t take anyone else. No room. Same thoughts as I drove across France’s open land a few months ago, driving hours without seeing a city. Way too crowded here. I’m glad that man didn’t try to save his family and flee to MY safe home. I’m so glad he stayed in that house of his, back in Syria to watch his family needlessly be blown up by Russian, Assad backed, bombs. Close call. I might have had to actually help another human being out and that just sounds uncomfortable to me. I’m really trying to focus on self-care right now and never feeling upset and like I said, that would have been really inconvenient if they had just showed up and potentially awkward and probably kind of sad and I just don’t think I can handle hearing about that stuff right now so….. yeah.

I’m honestly just so glad that I was blessed enough and loved by God enough to be born into a free country where I don’t have to worry if my home is going to be bombed tonight or my brother is going to be kidnapped and forced into a regime of terror and forced to be in a gang or die. It sucks for them, but I guess it’s just their trial in life. *shoulder shrug* Not sure where he is going to sleep tonight, but I’m glad I don’t have to figure it out. Most of his family is gone now so he can probably find a place there in Syria for just himself now a lot easier. Honestly tho, best of luck to him. Thoughts and prayers. ❤ ❤ ❤

……………….

How did that read when talking about a real life person who lost their entire family? A real man today lost his family and you can watch a video of it and see the footage of it and these aren’t just imaginary names and places – these are real live human beings with hopes and dreams for their families and futures and they’re being ripped apart every single day, and I just can’t handle the ignorance around this subject anymore. I have had the honor of working in refugee camps since Dec 2016 and every time someone has said these exact sentences like I wrote above to me I just want to scream at them and show them the photos I have in my phone shared with me by broken families I know personally and replay the stories stuck in my head forever from people who have sobbed to me as they deal with the trauma of war and watching their loved ones killed or raped in front of them. They come with their broken dreams and their ruined lives all completely happening to them out of their control and honest to goodness many, many people actually say the most ridiculous things about refugees and what refugees “should do.” This isn’t just one country’s job to stand up and take care of people – this is a world wide crisis and it’s everyone’s job. And if this post isn’t describing you, then this post isn’t for you. But if it isn’t for you, share it with someone who needs to hear this because people are dying daily and it is breaking my heart.

The United States Geological Survey recognizes 35,000 cities and towns within the United States. After failing badly to meet a target of accepting 45,000 refugees for 2018, did you know the government is now letting in no more than 30,000 refugees next year? I’m not talking about any kind of immigration other than legal, vetted refugees so don’t @ me about being a millennial democrat who wants free borders, because I’m not – but I do want open hearts.

There are tons of potential options and I don’t know what would be best, but I’m sure if we tried we could come up with a ton of ideas. Here’s one I’ve thought about, how about we have every city in America take one family. Just one. Save one man who doesn’t have to watch his entire family get killed before his eyes and have a chance at the life that YOU were lucky enough to have gotten, even though you are no more deserving than him. If 35,000 USA cities and towns all took one family of let’s say, 4 people – that would be saving 140,000 human lives. I’m not talking economic migrants, I’m not taking about illegal immigration, I’m talking about each mayor or church network or whatever stepping up and saying, “sure we can save a refugee family forced to flee” and committing to helping just one family learn english, one parent find a job, one person learn the bus system and how to do a parent-teacher conference. Surly a whole city has the resources to do this, to help just a couple of kids recover enough that they can play at a park and see planes fly over and not cry and run. We can’t all commit to just one family?

One family will integrate, one family won’t steal anything from you. One family won’t make a ghetto of poverty in your beloved town. Maybe we could even take two. Sorry, that may be pushing it for you, but think about it – that’s 280,000 saved souls spread all across our beautiful country, and I promise they will add to our communities. Did you know that all our children will perform better in school if there’re a few immigrants in the class? And I mean who doesn’t want to eat at this refugee-owned delicious falafel shop, lovingly dubbed the nicest place in America? And for the love of God, if one person comments on this post that I am supporting illegal immigrants or supporting gang violence or terrorists or any other garbage thing that has nothing to do with this post, which is simply a cry for people to see refugees as real people with loving families and dreams and with just as much right to a safe world as you or I have, I will sign your name to the above paragraphs and mark you down as completely soul-less, and if there is an after-life you for sure will be judged. Because God didn’t make these borders, we did, and He told us His greatest commandment is to love our neighbor, not keep them out to die.

As I have said in other posts, there are struggling, dying, real people out there, outside of your lovely and safe country with real issues and they are running for their lives. People that have never known the safety of free speech, full meals, and good education. And there are softer, kinder ways to process people and try and help them, be it better world-wide (not just American) refugee resettlement programs or safe zones. We get to choose how we treat people and everyone can still be treated like a human being and not a statistic in a poorly met target number. Refugees aren’t so different than you and I. And you can bet that I would jump all fences, swim all waters, and ignore all laws to seek to save the lives of people I love, and so would you. And I wish with my whole, freaking heart that Amjad al-Abdullah had done so to save his poor wife and babies, and I wish I had been able to help them get settled into a safe space and start the asylum interview process instead of today reading about how he sobbed on a broken rooftop watching them all die.

We are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record. An unprecedented 70.8 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 25.9 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. Nearly 1 person is forcibly displaced every two seconds as a result of conflict or persecution. Get involved. It’s time. Stand up for the people around you and for the people far from you. Volunteer your time and donate to whatever good cause comes your way. Get educated and use your privilege and power for good and please share what you learn.

Love you all.

This is a photo of Abu Omar, 70, and his pipe as he listened to his record player from his seat on his broken bed amid the rubble in Aleppo, Syria where he insisted on staying. As for the portrait’s spread, the photographer Joseph Eid will tell you “this picture touches the soul of the human being.”

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