He Knows their Names

A Syrian girl in a camp in Lebanon

A Syrian girl in a camp in Lebanon

Life is full of ironies, right? Here’s one I live with every day: I see my kids off to school, jump in my car, get to the office and fire up my computer. That part’s not unusual.

But here’s the irony: every work day begins with scouring dozens of news sources tracking refugee movements and statistics on the displaced children, peers of my kids, who are not getting on buses and going to school.

Not long ago, I often asked myself, “How can I, and especially my children, connect with what these kids are enduring?” I discovered the answer is simple, but first I had to rise above the news stories which offer no solutions to the so-called “refugee question”.

Though it may be unknown to me, every refugee statistic represents someone who has a name. Someone with a family, with abilities, hopes and dreams, like my children. Someone who has gone through horrific things, but has overcome them to fulfill a purpose.

We also have Someone in common with children seeking refuge. We are God’s children. We are family, and we can’t walk away from that. Jesus said it this way:

Imagine with me, a child, displaced from all she or he knows, hearing these words for the first time. Friends, this is why Tent Schools International exists. This is what we want every child to know.

“I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own and my own know me” (John 10:14).  In verse 16 of that same chapter it says: “And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock and one shepherd.”

This is our reference point at Tent Schools, and to stay focused, I pinned this lyric near my desk:

I have a Father, he calls me his own. / He’ll never leave me, no matter where I go. 
He knows my name / He knows my every thought. 
He sees each tear that falls / and hears me when I call.

(From “I Have A Maker”, by Paul Baloche)

Imagine with me, a child, displaced from all she or he knows, hearing these words for the first time. Friends, this is why Tent Schools International exists. This is what we want every child to know.

As Thanksgiving approaches, we ask that you join us in providing places for

more displaced children to find peace and opportunity, in tent schools where they are assured that God knows them by name.