#Refugees Welcome - responding to fear and guilt with faith and hope.
Mostly, it’s a mixture of fear and guilt. I’m afraid of what it all means. The displacement of over four million people is mind blowing to say the least. What will it all mean for this generation? What will it mean for Europe? What will it mean for the future of the world? I’m afraid of what it signals – I’m afraid of the uncertainty of the future – the power-shifts, the religious extremism, the clash of cultures, the possibilities of exploitation on an entire people group, a whole generation.
I’m also guilty for hearing about it but not doing anything. That picture of the small boy washed up on the shore, haunts me. I remember people (including governments) saying that after the Holocaust they would do things differently. “Never again” is what I heard.
I’ve heard the stories of boats filled with Jews being turned away from North America and sent back to Germany. There was “no room for them” at the time they came seeking asylum. The same thing happened again in Rwanda. We watched in horror as the people who had asked for help became the helpless and the slaughtered. We keep trying to wash the blood off our hands after each horrific event and yet here we are again.
The greatest refugee crisis of our time and what can we do? What will we do?
When fear and guilt try to paralyze and prevent us from responding - it is a call to rise up. We can fight against apathy and indifference. Let’s get mobalized. Instead of focusing on the many things we can’t do – we’ll start with what we can do:
We can pray. Here is a guide to help you – find words to offer, find the prayers needed for this time. For this place. And don’t ever forget that God hears the cries of the oppressed. http://worldvisionmagazine.org/story/pray-people-affected-conflict-syria
Get informed. Don’t let ignorance be an excuse. Get informed about the crisis. Use these fact guides as something to launch you into an even deeper understanding about this crisis. http://www.mercycorps.org/articles/turkey-iraq-jordan-lebanon-syria/quick-facts-what-you-need-know-about-syria-crisi
Give. There is much work being done on the front lines and in Europe to help. Use this link to connect you and donate today. http://www.salvationarmy.org/ihq/europerefugees
Co-sponsor. There are many organizations who are trying to re-locate refugees to America. They are looking for people with homes who will help. Contact some of them to find out more… as you pray, get informed, and give out of your blessings - you may just find that you are the answer to your own prayers. May God help you to live what you believe. http://iris.ladiocese.org/get-involved.html