by Joe Paschal
Growing up, the only thing I knew about refugees was that Tom Petty sang a song in which he said, “you don’t have to live like refugee.” Then, in 2000, I got a job at World Relief resettling refugees in Atlanta, GA. Then, not only did I quickly learn the US government’s definition of a refugee, but I also had the privilege of meeting and befriending many amazing people who were starting their lives over in the United States.
I call it a privilege because I was given the opportunity to witness one of the ways God is moving in the world. When God moves, He moves people–literally, in some cases. When God chose a people to set aside and become His people, He called Abraham and asked him to pack up his family and move. And ever since those days, God has been moving people in and out of countries and across borders all for one purpose. In Acts 17:26-27, Paul says, God “decided beforehand when [nations] should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him” (NLT).
I don’t want to over-simplify, but to put it another way, when people in a country aren’t allowed to search and find God, sometimes He moves them out of that country’s borders into a different place where they will have the chance to know Him.
Depending on which news source you read, there are nearly 4 million Syrians that have fled their home country seeking shelter inside a different set of borders. (And there’s another 6-7 million Syrians on the run still inside the country. They are “internally displaced.”) These are record numbers! So many people suffering!
But remember: When God moves, He moves people. Right now, there are millions of people on the move. Is He moving them closer to finding Himself?
And what about you? Is He “moving” you to help? I pray that He is.
You can help. Here’s how:
- PRAY. Pray for refugees and IDPs (internally displaced people). God knows every one of them by name and loves them just like He loves you and me. Pray that God provides for these families.
- GIVE. You can give to support ministries that have “boots on the ground” where the Syrian refugees are. You can give through LifePoint Church online. Just give the way you normally do on our website, but choose “Syrian Refugees” from the drop down menu. LifePoint will give all of the donations to ministries on the front lines of the Syrian refugee crisis.
- WELCOME. Did you know that World Relief resettles refugees right here in the metro Baltimore area? You can welcome refugees to the United States and help them begin their new lives! Click here to get started.