Desperation.

Desperation is seeing a word on a train, mistaking it to be a destination in a country you’re hoping to get to, and boarding that train amidst a pressing crowd, and against the authorities wishes.

Desperation is pushing your wife and infant onto railroad tracks and grabbing hold of them of them and holding on for dear life, with gritted teeth literally biting your wife’s clothing. Attempting to stay together, attempting to reach a desired destination, against all odds.

Desperation is passing your terrified child over the heads of a surging crowd, willing your child to make it onto the transport out of your miserable no mans land.

Desperation makes people do desperate things.

I can’t remember the last time I was genuinely desperate for anything.

If you’re reading this, I imagine you’re the same. You know you live in a completely different level of comfort than many of our brothers and sisters experiencing displacement right now. And you’re moved by the stark images you’re seeing of the refugee crisis. You truly are. But you don’t know how or where you can help.

Here are some things you can do. I’ve collated some things that little ole me, and little ole you can do. Many years ago I wore a shirt that bore the words ‘when desperation exceeds our fears, progress begins’.

Friends, it is time for progress. 

  •  If you’re in New Zealand, please sign this petition to increase the refugee quota.
  • If you’re in Australia, please sign this petition, urging the Australian government to take in 20,000 Syrian refugees.
  • Tear Fund New Zealand makes these suggestions: Write to your local MP or the Minster of Immigration.  Donate to us as we help the refugees in practical ways. Take part in a protest march (details on www.tearfund.org.nz). Volunteer with a refugee agency here in NZ.
  • And Ann Voskamp gives five examples of things we can do in her recent blog post here.

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