Greetings, Friends! My short story, We Care for You, focuses on the refugee crisis in Syria. God made it clear how His people should treat the widow, orphan, and foreigner seeking refuge. As Christians, are we expressing our love to these families most in need? Let’s pray for God’s direction in how we can help. Enjoy this new short story.
We Care for You
by D.I. Telbat
Ali pulled his family from the capsized raft and crawled onto the shoreline of Greece. His son and daughter were cold and crying, but at least they were alive after the long crossing from Turkey. Many others had perished from weather, or at the hands of greedy smugglers. He glanced at his wife as she inventoried their few waterlogged possessions.
“The blanket is wet,” she said, “and it’s almost sundown. We’ll freeze out here without shelter, Ali. Why does Allah hate us so much?”
With the same accusation in his heart, Ali took each of his children by the hand.
“Come. Let’s keep up with the others. Maybe there’s a warm bed for us tonight.”
For mile after mile, they trudged. Darkness came, but they stumbled onward since there was nowhere to sleep, and the cold was too threatening. Other refugees from Syria collapsed along the roadside in the bushes, but Ali couldn’t help them. He couldn’t even help himself.
By dawn, they found themselves following railroad tracks with other refugees. Policemen in trucks paralleled their route to ensure they kept moving on to the next country.
“There’s a tent ahead!” his wife said.
Ali looked up with hope, but quickly lapsed back into despair. The tent was small, only large enough to shelter a few aid workers from the sun. And a small banner on the side of the tent said something in Greek, but Ali understood the name, “CRISTO.”
“Wait!” Ali stopped his family. His wife looked back at him, their children ready to crumble from exhaustion. “We were told not to trust Christians. They’ll try to rob us.”
“Rob us of what?” his wife asked. “A wet blanket? We have nothing else left.”
They continued walking, and Ali mumbled several prayers and curses for protection as they neared the Christian aid workers. The other refugees seemed to be escaping the Christians without any fuss at all. Maybe his prayers were working.
“Peace to you,” a woman greeted and approached Ali’s wife. “Here’s some food. There’s a shelter for the night a mile up the tracks. You can make it.”
A man with a smile shook Ali’s hand and tucked several Arabic pamphlets into Ali’s coat.
“Hello, my friend,” the man said, his smile reaching his eyes. “This is legal rights literature that will help you find safe housing in Europe, and another pamphlet explaining why we’re waiting here for you.”
Ali turned and watched the woman exchange his wife’s mildewed blanket for a clean, dry one. His children were given food and water bottles by the hands of Greek children.
“No, I don’t want to read it,” Ali said to the man. “Tell me what it says right now.”
“The legal information?”
“No, the reason you are helping us. Aren’t you Christians, worshippers of the Nazarene?”
“Yes, we are. We’re here because Jesus Christ loves us all. He died and lives today, to bring peace to the brokenhearted.” The man took Ali’s hand and held it, a Middle Eastern gesture of brotherhood. “We care for you, brother, because the Nazarene cared for us.”
“What do you want for all this?” Ali pushed the man’s hand away. “We have no money. We have no home. What is the cost for your kindness?”
“It’s free,” the man said as Ali backed away. “It’s free because God paid the cost. I’ll never see you again, unless you read what I gave you—then you must believe what God has done for you. In that case, we’ll see each other in eternity.”
Ali gathered his family and left before the Christians could get what they wanted.
But a few minutes down the railroad tracks, Ali reflected on what the Christians had given his family—food, water, love, and hope. For free? He paused on the tracks and looked back. The strange man still stood there, waving at Ali. It was then that Ali knew he’d been deceived about the Nazarenes—the people who followed Jesus Christ. They weren’t his enemies. An enemy wouldn’t save his life.
Ali raised his hand and returned a wave. In eternity, Ali decided, he would properly thank the strange Christian, but first—he needed to read the Christian literature! He turned and joined his family, realizing a seed of hope was already growing in his soul, because of the kindness from one group of Christians.
The End of We Care for You
Read true stories of refugees here: Vision Beyond Borders’ Humanitarian Relief, and Open Doors’ article about Brexit affecting refugees.