Sitting in an air-conditioned office in Canada, it’s hard to comprehend the daily experiences of Rohingya refugees living on the other side of the world. The scale of this crisis both shocks and overwhelms me. But it’s easy for this crisis to be just a number. Just one more individual, many miles away, experiencing trauma that I do not understand and have little capacity to abate.
Almost every day, as I work, I am confronted with the immense suffering in the world and am reminded of why the work of World Renew must continue. But it’s easy to be overwhelmed. In the face of so many wars and natural disasters, where human suffering is enormous, it’s easy to reduce these crises to a number.
But today, my heart aches.
Since Sunday, nearly 400 millimeters of rain has fallen in the Cox’s Bazar area, where 900,000 Rohingya refugees now call home. And heavy rains are predicted to continue in the coming days. I knew this was coming. For months, I’ve know that monsoon rains would fall on Bangladesh. Now that the heavy rains have started, I am afraid for the lives of thousands of Rohingya families. As the rain continues to fall, landslides threaten families who call this area home.
Today, I watched this video filmed on a cellphone. Water rushing through the middle of a refugee camp. A river where there was none before. It’s a simple recording – nothing glamorous – but it resonated deeply with me. I ask that you take 20 seconds to watch this short video. Imagine, for a second that you are there, standing in the rain, watching the ground turn to mud beneath your feet.
What does this rain mean for the Rohingya families who call this area of Bangladesh their home? How will their lives change in the next few weeks because of heavy rain, flooding, and landslides?
I don’t know the answer to those questions.
One thing I do know is that we cannot forget these families. I am thankful that right now we are holding our Stand With Refugees campaign to raise funds to help families living in these refugee camps. Since this crisis began last August, our team has provided 58,000 boxes of food to Rohingya families. And this work will continue as long as there is support to do so.
So today, as the rains fall in Bangladesh, we ask you to pray for the Rohingya people in their time of need.
Join us as we work together with others in extending Christ’s compassion.