by Violet Calkin
I did my Social Studies Fair project on how much middle schoolers know about the Syrian Civil War. While I was doing research, planning my survey and writing my paper I realized that I was just writing it down and just acknowledging that it was happening, but not doing anything. I realized innocent people were suffering and I was just writing about it. I worried about it a lot and when I prayed I included them in my prayers. When my Social Studies teacher showed us CNN Student News I always listened especially hard when they talked about the Syrian War.
My mom confronted me on this and told me that she knew that I was worrying about it and said I could something. I was taken aback because I didn’t think someone who is only 12, who is only in the 6th grade, could do something to help people in a war torn country. I didn’t think I was that powerful. And I’m not that powerful. I don’t have the money or the time or the resources to mend a country, but if everyone acknowledges this is happening and everyone pitches in a dollar or two we could buy toothbrushes and other things, the simplest things that people don’t have access to. And if a lot of people put their money together we could do something bigger like rebuild a school for a community.
On Sunday we are going to take up a collection for UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) which won’t build a school, but will supply some basic items that can make the Syrian refugees’ lives a little easier. Like anti-lice spray, scabies cream and soap. I live in this world and I feel a duty to make it better. I feel an urge, like it’s my job, to not just write about it and slap something on a display board, but to do something about it. And this is what I’m doing about it. My mom told me that if the church does a collection then I need to make an announcement about it on Sunday. And I said I’m too shy to do that. She opened my eyes by saying Violet, there are Syrians suffering right now and you are too afraid to make an announcement? If you think about it, you might think your life is hard. Like oh no, I have that science test that I forgot to study for, my life is so horrible. But then you remember there are people suffering and your life feels like a blessing. You can help by giving a few dollars to UMCOR on Sunday.
Prayer: God, We see pain and suffering happening all over the world, and we say God will make it all better with his healing power. But in reality, it is up to us humans who started it all to be the healers. Forgive us and help us to be leaders in giving to others and to be generous. Amen.