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Syria’s Government Shutdown

Tim Myrick Syrian Refugees

Tuesday morning the US federal government shutdown. National parks are closed, IRS audits are suspended, and government-backed mortgages face delays. But our highways are open, home sales continue brisk, and many are not directly hindered. The Syrian government is also shutdown. But their roads are closed, banks are shuttered, schools suspended, courts adjourned, media blacked out, phones disconnected, water shutoff, electricity terminated, homes evacuated, and hospitals targeted for violence. The only proliferation within Syria today is that of arms and displaced persons.


Sabeen, a young mother, is among some 200,000 Syrians fleeing to neighboring countries each month. Along with her eighteen-month old daughter, Sabeen made her way to a refugee encampment in Jordan. Tim Myrick, INMED faculty physician, examined her there in a makeshift clinic. “I feared this child would promptly die. She was wasting away from malnutrition and suffocating from pneumonia. But with simple attention, amoxicillin, and oral fluids over two days Sabeen’s daughter dramatically improved. Her complexion became bright, she devoured food, and for the first time her mother sensed that they might not simply survive, but thrive.”


What can you do on behalf of Syria’s refugees? Some options include:


• Serve at a Syrian refugee facility: Baptist Global Response organizes teams of Christian healthcare personnel to serve alongside Lebanese nationals in northern Lebanon for periods of ten days at a time. For complete details please contact [email protected]

• Make a financial contribution to aid Syrians in crisis: Samaritan’s Purse is an exceptional relief and development organization providing effective assistance.

• Volunteer at a healthcare facility near you that serves refugees: Samuel Rogers Health Center and Christ Community Health Services, for example, provide comprehensive care to such people.

• Increase your own refugee care proficiency by enrolling in the INMED International Public Health or International Medicine Diploma program: Mentored by exemplary role models like Tim Myrick, mastery of diseases of poverty, cross-cultural skills, and disaster management will dramatically improve your ability to lend effective assistance.


Finally, check the attitude of your own heart. Governments may shutdown but talented people can shutdown, too. By contrast, as we open up to the crisis of those like Sabeen and her daughter we may well discover that we too don’t simply survive, but also thrive.

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