(God) defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. — Deuteronomy 10:18 (NIV)
That word causes arguments, stirs feelings of hopelessness, and makes people uncomfortable. The plight of refugees is not simple, and discussing it can be volatile.
The church can feel trapped in this conflict. Many may avoid the topic altogether. But ignoring the refugee crisis is the worst thing we as Christians, can do.
More than 65 million people worldwide are refugees or displaced persons. And they all have one thing in common: they are in desperate need of help.
The church must not be paralyzed by fear or overwhelmed by the numbers. The church must respond to this crisis with the love of Jesus.
Pastor Nikos is one man who has chosen to make a difference. He ministers in the refugee camps in Greece. Most of the refugees there are Muslim, but because they’ve seen his love for them, they accept him even though he is a Christian.
Pastor Nikos goes to the camps every day. He takes people to the doctor, the hospital, and the supermarket. He provides for their needs. Refugees come to his house for coffee and lunch. And he does all this in the name of Jesus.
“If they feel accepted, they will also stop looking at us as their enemies, and it will be easier for us to speak to them about the love of Jesus Christ,” he said.
This is what the church has been called to do … be the hands and feet of Jesus and care for the people He cares about.
You can discuss this crisis in your congregation, pray about it, and take action to care for refugees.
Not all of us can visit a refugee camp in Greece, Uganda, or Syria. But you can do something. You can pray for the refugees and give what we can to meet their needs.
When we give to refugees, we show them how loved they are. We bring the light and hope of Jesus into the darkness of this crisis. And we, as a church, bring glory to our Savior.