The Christian’s Response to the Refugee Crisis
By now most of you have seen this picture and read the tragic story that goes with it. Refugees fleeing their homelands cross the Mediterranean Sea in search of life. Unfortunately, many have died in what is been labeled as the “World’s worst refugee crisis since WWII”.
Christians and non-Christians alike have been asking the same question, “What do we do?”.
This is not the first time that question has been asked. Remember the earthquake in Haiti? How about the 2004 Tsunami? The 2008 earthquake in China? Let’s just be honest here. We are interested for a week or two. We “pray” those affected…and then, life happens. We forget because it’s on the other side of the world and we’re busy people.
So what should the Christian response be? Pray? Absolutely. Give? Sure, if God leads you to give, give generously to an organization that brings BOTH physical and spiritual help like Samaritans Purse and World Vision. Go? Yes, some should go. But then what? Is that it? Is that all we should do?
The purpose of this blog isn’t to remind us of how poor of a job we are doing as Christians nor is it to provide the “Top 5 Christian Responses to Tragedy”. It’s actually me processing a short conversation I had with the Lord this morning. I, like many of you, were truly moved by this picture. My heart hurt. I want to fix this problem NOW!
But God corrected me this morning. He reminded me that this crisis didn’t start the day this toddler washed up on the beach. He reminded me that there have been thousands of deaths this year and that every person was of great value to Him. He reminded me that every day since the fall of man there have been crises’ all around the world and we have the great privilege of being His hands and feet to every one of them.
So what is our response?
Because we’re “list” type people, let me condense my journal notes from this morning in to a few bullet points.
How do we respond to the tragedies all around us:
- Seek the Lord. Are we solution seekers or Jesus seekers? If we seek a solution before seeking the Lord our response will be in our own strength and will have little impact. “Seek Him first”.
- Open your eyes. Mother Teresa said, “You will find your own Calcutta if you have eyes to see it.” As we seek the Lord, ask Him to open our eyes to the tragedies and the crises all around us. As Christians we should have seen this refugee crises coming (because God did!) and been ready to respond before anyone else. Let’s not miss one more opportunity to bring glory to His name!
- Obey! Obedience is tough especially when it’s hard (How’s that for the most obvious statement of the year?). Think of it though. Look at Joshua 1 when the LORD says to Joshua, “Be strong and courageous!”. Be strong because it’s going to be easy? Of course not! Be strong because obedience is hard. If you pursue God and He opens your eyes to act, it will not be easy but it will be possible because He is God!
- It’s going to be a journey so bring others with you. You’ve seen Lord of the Rings right? The first movie of the trilogy was called the Fellowship of the Ring. There was a fellowship for a reason (and it would have been a terrible movie if it was called “Frodo and the Ring”). Hebrews 10:24 says to “Stir up one-another to love and good works”. Bring others with you. They will thank you for it!
As we move forward at YWAM Boise pursuing God together, He has called us run a Worship Justly Discipleship Training School (DTS) which has a strong refugee ministry focus. Let me be clear though, we are far from having this figured out. I often feel that I am so inadequate to minister to refugees but then as I pursue God and not a solution, I’m reminded that His strength is made perfect in my weakness and that He will use us! Wow. That’s so cool!
Thanks for helping me process this! Check out our Worship Justly DTS while you’re here!
All for the King!