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I’m back.

A week ago, I stepped onto a plane from Rafic Hariri International Airport in Beirut and traveled back to the United States after a year away. There are a thousand stories to tell, a thousand images to share (or 2,300, as the case may be), and a thousand lessons to process. Such experiences inevitably change a person, and I do feel different, but above all I feel grateful and driven to continue to advocate for the millions of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Palestine, and scores of other countries.

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For the next month, I will be back-and-forthing around the Midwest seeing family and friends. Please pray for me as I discern what comes next—whether it be pursuing a refugee-focused or journalism job in the States or in Lebanon, or something else entirely.

I look forward to a lot of visiting in the near future. Please ask questions and tell me your own stories from the last year. A lot has happened for each of us and for the world!

What I saw, heard, and felt in Lebanon changed my life, mostly for the better. The experience was, by turns, incredibly rewarding and impossibly challenging. Above all I learned about the Lord’s faithfulness and how much we must depend on him. There is so much in our world that cannot be fixed except by God. That doesn’t give us an excuse not to work as hard as we can; it just gives us more reason to be in ceaseless prayer.

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During my last few weeks in Lebanon, some of my friends began returning to their homes in Syria for the summer—to support family, to pastor churches, and to live. Others kept working away in their aid jobs working with the nearly two million refugees inside Lebanon. These are ordinary men and women doing extraordinary work in sometimes horrifying circumstances. For now, I’ve left them 5,000 miles away. But our country cannot leave them behind. Our world cannot leave them behind. The Syrian Crisis remains the most deadly and divisive conflict in the world. There are things we can do. There are things we must do. Find out what they are, and do them.

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