From the Frontlines: Responding to the Refugee Crisis
Jan 13, 2016
When news broke of refugees fleeing the Middle East and Europe, I struggled with some of the same issues you may have had. I struggled with the fact that many would not be going through any security checks but at the same time, I wanted to welcome the foreigner. I was concerned that Islamic groups would spread because of open doors to mass immigration. I was concerned that Christians fleeing places like Egypt, Jordan, and Libya would leave their nations virtually church-less.
"Is the church ready for a vast new mission field?"
Like you, in some ways I felt conflicted. But all politics aside, regardless of where you stand on the issue of whether or not to open our nation's borders, I think there are some more important things we all need to agree on as brothers and sisters in Christ:
WE NEED TO BE READY
We may not be able to change whether or not thousands of refugees are crossing our borders but we can be prepared. Is the church ready for a vast new mission field? Are you prepared to be involved in reaching the unreached as they move into the neighborhood?
We need to be motivated by the voice of God, not the voice of fear
I believe God is preparing His church for a revolution against its comfort zone something beyond what we ever dreamed or imagined. What opportunities might we miss if we live in fear? Let's replace our fears with prayer for our nation and for those who might cross our borders.
We need to be shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves
Several times in Scripture, when God was ordering His nation to fight or to take new land, he also commanded them to welcome the foreigner and be merciful to the widow (see Deuteronomy 10:18-19). We see Jesus demonstrate this Biblical tension with the open-ended answers he often gave to yes-or-no questions. I pray we can all have that kind of discernment so that we can exhibit both wisdom and mercy in responding to our broken world.