The White Helmets, officially called The Syrian Civil Defense, is a volunteer corps of Syrians who act as first responders in the Syrian civil war, which is now in its sixth year. The group’s charter is simple: to carry out search-and-rescue operations to save the maximum number of lives. The group has rescued more than 60,000 people.
At great risk to their own safety and lives, these men in white helmets scour the aftermaths of bombing, clawing through the rubble to see a hand waving or a tiny voice crying from a survivor.
I found it incredibly moving when they showed the White Helmets noticing just the top of the head of a small child. They sprung into action, feverishly using their hands to dig around the child and pull the entire body out of the broken cement and twisted metal and into the arms of a worker ready to whisk the little one off for medical treatment.
Survivors spoke of how they felt as if they would soon die and had given up all hope shortly before they heard the footsteps of the White Helmets.
I find so many parallels in this story to our life in Christ. How many of us know of people who are buried under rubble of one kind or another: sickness, injury, disease, addiction, anger, abuse, unbelief, grief. depression, etc.? And how many times have you heard of people saying that at just the moment when they felt all hope was lost in their particular situation, they heard the footsteps of someone who lifted them out of their struggle and gave them a new lease on life with just a phone call, a hug, a kind word, a recovery plan, a new medication?
We can be those “White Helmets,” so to speak, who lift up those in the most desperate of need. They are all around us, but we cannot always see them right away. We have to listen for their cries, watch for their hands waving, notice something out of place. It might be dangerous for us to reach out to them, but we must do all we can to rescue the people whose lives are flickering out.
We have the capacity to help and serve because we have in us the power of Christ, whose footsteps came to us when we were as good as dead in the rubble our sins and disobedience and who lifted us up and out of the destruction to live a new life in him through his resurrection. Because Christ gave us a new lease on life in this way, we are able to do all we can for others by his strength at work through us. Become a part of Christ’s search-and-rescue team today.
Watch the 60 Minutes story about the White Helmets at this link: