Imagine the sheer chaos and suffering if displacement of this magnitude were to afflict our country. Where would you go if barrel bombs began falling indiscriminately on your neighborhood, or if a terrorist group unhappy with your religion threatened your life? If you could safely reach another country, how would you hope to be received?
Scripture teaches that Jesus himself was forced to flee from a tyrannical government as a small child. How, I wonder, was the Holy Family received in Egypt – with compassion and hospitality, or with suspicion and contempt?
Later in his ministry, Jesus said that part of the greatest, all-encompassing commandment was to love our neighbors. A lawyer – presumably looking to limit his responsibilities – pressed for a precise legal definition: “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus went on to tell the story we know of as the Good Samaritan, a man who went out of his way, at significant personal cost, to care for a man of a different religious and ethnic background who was in need. “Go and do likewise,” Jesus commanded.
Churches throughout this great nation are eager to do so, and there are opportunities for churches and individuals to practically welcome refugees by helping to help furnish an apartment for a newly arrived refugee family, to help them find work and become economically self-sufficient – even to open up their own homes.
It is important to note that refugees are not leaving their countries, lives, and all things familiar because they choose to – they are literally fleeing for their lives.
While many U.S. state governments continue to push back on refugees coming to their states, we urge local communities to continue to welcome all refugees and be actively supportive and engaged with local refugee resettlement agencies around the country. See our FAQ‘s for more details on how resettlement works and the role of state governments in this process.
You can play a role in welcoming refugees into your community.