It has been a tumultuous week in Washington D.C. and around the nation. The reality of new foreign policy has offered up sad and disheartening news for many seeking refuge.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matt. 5:3
At times like these, we ask ourselves if there is anything we can do to make a difference in the world. I would love to give you a clean, no-frills, do this answer. But there is no one right answer when faced with darkness and suffering.
As followers of Christ, we are called to stand with the widow, orphan, alien, and marginalized. Most of us have little power to do anything about the things that are happening in D.C. and the political spectrum. Policies are passed that affects millions and we have no voice or power to overturn it.
Here is what we, the Church of the Nazarene, are currently doing to help refugees in the U.S. and around the world:
We have laypersons, pastors, and missionaries at “ground zero” caring for refugees in their countries of origin. The Nazarene Church in Scotland (yes, we are in Scotland) are taking in displaced refugees, giving them asylum, and teaching them English as a second language.
In Hungary (yes, we are in Hungary), we are supplying food, clothing, and tents at refugee camp sites. We also have churches in all European countries including Germany and the U.K. Our churches are working with government and non-profit agencies to supply food and medical attention.
In the Middle East and other Creative Access Areas, we are supplying education for refugee children who are unable to attend school.
And here, in the U.S., we continue to care for refugees by helping them walk through the immigration process. The Board of Immigration Appeals allows non-profit organizations such as churches to be trained in immigration law and offer immigration legal services. The Church of the Nazarene continues to offer training for pastors and lay ministers to raise up new ministry outreach to immigrants and refugees. Our district has several pastors currently in training.
In the Church of the Nazarene, we believe hope is still alive. We also believe God asks us to be part of His plan. Here is what you can do:
Pray. I know. It seems so lame. But we continue to trust in a God who hears the cries of His people. If we don’t pray, then who will? So please pray especially for the workers in the fields; those who are working directly with refugees. Ask God to give them strength so they would not grow weary in doing good. Pray for those who work directly with immigration laws. Pray for God to raise up men and women of God who can directly affect foreign policy for the good of humankind. Pray for the money and resources needed to care for those who have been displaced. And pray for an end to war and violence no matter how small.
Give. Ugh. Everyone wants money. But it takes money to care for refugees. You can give online here. Any amount, even $1, will help. You can give at your local Nazarene church on Sunday by marking your envelope “refugee crisis”. You can also mail a check to the church and we will make sure it gets to the Refugee and Immigrant Nazarene Support Fund; mail it to this address.
I hope we will work together to make this world a better place. Let’s bring the light of Christ into a dark season. Wake up. We have work to do!