The issue of men, women and children being forced to flee their homes is an important global issue. It’s important because people are important and God asks us to care about people.
God cares about refugees.
The Bible is filled with men and women who were refugees. Moses, Ruth and Joseph are just some examples of those who were forced to leave their way of life by circumstances outside their control to become foreigners.
Nobody is too insignificant or hidden from God’s loving eye.
In Genesis 21:17-18 we read about God seeing Hagar alone with her son Ishmael in the desert. It was a desperate situation. The Lord reached out to this woman and provided a way forward. He also gave her son a future hope.
Jesus was a refugee.
We may not think about how God can personally relate to the refugee but Jesus himself was a refugee when his family fled a genocide to find safety in Egypt (Matthew 2:13-14).
God understands what it feels like to lose a home. To be forced to leave behind what you love. To feel frightened about personal safety. God’s care on this issue is personal.
This month hosts World Refugee Day. I would like to invite you to pray for those who have been forced to leave their home and way of life. As followers of Jesus we have a unique opportunity to reach out to refugees in our local community and demonstrate God’s loving compassion to a hurting world.
The issue may feel overwhelming but the world is not so big and far away when you start by looking next door.
Growing up in small town Australia my life didn’t have much to do with people from other countries. Wars were far away and only something I only saw on TV.
I was watching with the world in 2016 when millions of grief stricken refugees began to walk across Europe in search of safety. I saw images of families forced to walk for days and wished I could do something to help.
During this time I did a night class with YWAM on global missions and gained God’s insight on Nations, cultures and people groups. It stirred my heart to care about those living as foreigners in my own city.
One day a lady randomly come into my office and asked if anyone would be interested in making house visits to several Syrian families in my city.
I said yes.
The first visit involved awkward conversations across a difficult language barrier. As I continued to go back each week a friendship was developed. Now four years later I call this family my family and enjoy our weekly meals of fellowship together.
I would later learn that my friends were one of the millions of refugees I had seen fleeing their beloved Syria. They had walked tirelessly throughout the night carrying their 4 small children and 2 bags of clothing to find refuge in Jordan. I remember wondering what I could do to help and am grateful that God gave me the opportunity.
It feels as though my life has become enriched through this experience and I am constantly blessed by my friends in more ways than one. I have also gained more of God’s heart in the process.
If you have a heart for situations you see in the world, ask God to show how you can help. You may be surprised by how quickly He answers that prayer. God’s ways are generous. You may also be surprised by an unexpected blessing of friendship.