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Why respond to refugees?

posted Dec 18, 2016, 11:52 AM by SAMC office administrator   [ updated Dec 18, 2016, 12:02 PM by Mitzi Moore ]

WHY DO WE DO TAKE CARE OF REFUGEES? WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF WE DIDN'T?

A year and a half ago, ICE busses began dropping off bus loads of asylum seeking central-american women and children at the bus station and airport--sometimes in the middle of the night--where these disoriented and traumatized families were targets of human traffickers and predators.  A group of churches (the Interfaith Welcome Committee) responded by setting up a shelter at a Mennonite Church property and created an agreement with the legal aid agency RAICES to make that release process safe, welcoming, and set these families up for success.

If we did nothing, women and children would be preyed upon and funneled into the human trafficking corridor that thrives along I10 and I35.


WHY DO CHRISTIANS RESPOND THIS WAY?

In the Hebrew Scriptures God gives very clear commandments about how to treat aliens in your land (repetitively commanding "do not mistreat or oppress the foreigner, remember that you were foreigners in Egypt") and over and over giving instruction on how to treat widows and orphans.

And in the New Testament, we see Jesus' life story as one of an asylum seeking family fleeing death threats (Matthew 2). Then Jesus very clearly teaches that we love and care for those who suffer as we love and care for God "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."

There is also the very clear teaching that all that we have been given must be used in the service of God's will (do not bury your gifts but invest them, and to whom much is given much is expected). Our church building is not our own but a gift we are stewards of in order to welcome and love. Our resources and networks of people and energies are not our own, but vessels of God's love.

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Mitzi Moore,
Dec 18, 2016, 12:01 PM
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