Saturday, September 5, 2015

What I & and Every Follower of Christ MUST Do about the Refugee Crisis

Everything in me wants to write about anything except the refugee crisis.....but I can't.
Though most of the first world seems to have suddenly had their eyes opened to what is going on in the Middle East, it's something that has been going on for a long time now.
People are dying or fleeing.
They are running by the hundreds of thousands, because they are scared.
No one wants to be slaughtered.
So they risk their lives on the tiniest thread of a hope that there is something better for them somewhere else.
Sadly, few of them make it.
They run away from the blood and the bombs and the terror, and end up in the desperate place of a refugee.
No home. No people. No hope.

There is lots of talk about what to do about this, the worst refugee crisis since World War II, but talking doesn't always give answers, and it's never easy to know which actions will help the needy the most.

I don't know the answers, but I do know this: God has given me, as a follower of Christ, guidelines for what I MUST do.

1. I must share the gospel where I am. 
God has called me to be His light in Ghana. I'm here to share the truth of salvation with these people. The news just recently reported that two young men from the University I live across the road from joined ISIS.  What if they had heard the gospel before finding the ISIS recruiting group on Facebook? People from all over the world are leaving their lands and running to join ISIS.....what if they had the opportunity to hear the gospel first? What if this evil threat was shrinking instead of growing, because those who were searching for something bigger than themselves found it in Jesus and not jihad?
Cast your bread upon the waters....we cannot know where it will turn up.

2. I must pray for missionaries and aid workers on the front lines, the refugees, the world leaders, and those taking in families. 
We have friends who are dealing with this crisis every single day. The refugee problem is not something they think about when it comes on the news or a picture is plastered all over the internet. They are meeting these people, helping them settle, visiting the refugee camps, dealing with bureaucratic red tape, and most importantly, sharing with them Jesus. They need our prayers for strength, health, wisdom, and endurance.
These refugees need prayer. They've left everything, because they thought that was better than staying. Most of them have only what they could carry as they ran. They are hopeless. What better time for them to hear about the only true Hope-giver? Pray that they meet true believers and hear a clear presentation of the gospel. Pray that they are met with kindness. Pray for their physical needs to be met. Pray for their hurting hearts and minds to be healed.
The world leaders who go to bed thinking about these decisions and their ramifications, and wake to more horrifying stories, need our prayers. There are no easy decisions to be made in a situation like this. There aren't any easy answers. They cannot know what the results of their decisions will be on the futures of the countries they lead. Pray for them to have the wisdom only God can give. Pray that God will move their hearts to make the decisions that will bless the most people. Pray for them to be moved with compassion.
Pray for those who are opening their homes to refugees. While it may sound exciting on paper, it is not an easy thing to open a home to a complete stranger. Pray that Christians will be the first to open their homes and be willing to do the hard things when it comes to truly helping those who are hurting.

3. I must pray for laborers.
Jesus' only prayer request to reach the world was for laborers. 
The harvest is wide open. Whenever people are lost and hurting, their hearts are tender to a Saviour. But how can they hear without one? Now is the time for more laborers to go forth. Pray that those called will be able to reach their fields quickly. Pray for more to be called to go. Pray for laborers with hearts full of boldness and compassion.

4. I must ask God what he wants me to do about this crisis.
The only reasonable thing I can do is give myself as a sacrifice. Sacrifices don't have a say; they just obey.
I must be willing to ask the hard questions:
am I to give money?
am I to set a certain time I pray for this crisis?
am I to help in some tangible way?
am I to open my home?
am I to find a way to reach out to the refugee community where I live?
am I to commit to pray for a specific group that is ministering to the refugees?
am I to go?
God has the answer. Am I willing to ask the question?

*For those looking for a way to physically give to the refugee crisis, I include a few links.
Take your time, pray, and make sure that the charity you are giving to is using the money for the people they are serving.

A number of lesser known charities that are doing a great work during this crisis.

A few ideas here, too.

*image credit

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