Archive You are currently viewing an archive of

Becoming part of God's solution for Syrian children

By Marilee Pierce Dunker
Sep 6, 2013
"I asked God to show me how I can be part of his plan to bring comfort to those who believe the world has chosen not to 'look'."
©2013 Meg Sattler/World Vision
Syrian refugee children in Jordan live interrupted lives and face uncertain futures. Not in school, and with no friends to play with, this boy sleeps most of the day. He shares a two-room apartment with seven other people.

Editor's note: Marilee wrote this reflection in August 2013.


I begin every day with a cup of coffee and a quiet time with the Lord. Today my daily reading took me to Ecclesiastes 4, and the words jumped off the page. 

It was as if the writer was commenting on the recent heartrending videos coming out of Damascus, as well as the countless other less publicized places of unspeakable suffering in our world today. 

Verses 1-3 say (NASB):

Then I looked again at all the acts of oppression which were being done under the sun. And behold I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no one to comfort them; and on the side of their oppressors was power, but they had no one to comfort them. So I congratulated the dead who are already dead more than the living who are still living. But better off than both of them is the one who has never existed, who has never seen the evil activity that is done under the sun.

I must confess that as a mother and grandmother it was hard for me to “look at the acts of oppression” going on in Damascus right now. My sister called to tell me about the YouTube videos, saying there were pictures of children and babies gasping for breath.

My first response was, “I don’t want to look.”  But then I realized that if I refused to “look” in order to spare myself the pain of seeing the tears of the oppressed, I was becoming a part of the problem rather than God’s solution.

So I watched. And I read. And I cried. And I pictured that the little one lying in the hospital was my own precious 5-year-old granddaughter.

Then I wiped the tears away, and I prayed. I prayed that the leaders of the free world would have the resolve to rise up in unity to overcome the oppressors and hold those who committed this egregious crime accountable. 

I prayed that World Vision and other organizations and churches would find ways to provide desperately needed shelter and provision for those escaping this atrocity. And I asked God to show me how I can be part of his plan to bring comfort to those who believe the world has chosen not to “look.”

Marilee serves World Vision, the organization her father, Bob Pierce, founded in 1950. Like him, she travels the world, witnessing and fulfilling God’s mandate to care for the poor. Request Marilee to speak.

How to help

Donate now to support World Vision's response to help displaced children and families in Syria, Jordan, and Lebanon.

Read more: Fast facts: Syrian refugee crisis

Follow World Vision magazine