I’m sitting at O’Hare right now. Final destination Lesvos, Greece – more specifically Refugee Camp Moria – more specifically learning and praying and serving in the midst of the refugee crisis. I couldn’t be more thankful for the chance to go.
Just had a conversation with someone curious about my backpack, which led to where I’m going, which led to – “The refugees . . . Yeah . . . Politics . . . Hard Stuff . . . Germany . . . Terrorists.” (keywords, you can fill in the rest. ;))
I said, “It is a tough situation. I don’t know what the answer is, but when I welcome refugees it isn’t a political position. It’s a heart position. I’m not a sign holder. I’m more of an uno player (I packed Uno because I know numbers and colors in Arabic. Score.).”
He nodded, but I don’t think he understood.
Refugees and politics become less and less connected in my mind. As a Jesus follower, we are called to join Him in loving whoever He loves, even at risk to ourselves. We are not constrained by fear or by politics. Something greater compels us. Something stronger keeps us.
These people have said it better than I could.
“We should say to the world by our actions, if our government fears or excludes you, we will come to you. We will increase our commitment to support a steady stream of missionary and support workers who carry the best news in the world and care about all suffering, especially eternal suffering.” John Piper, listen to full clip here.
“I am pro-life. Therefore, I am pro-people . . . Have we become a nation where carrying a sign is noble, but caring for your neighbor is virtually unheard of?” Nate Bramsen, read full post here
“Sometimes we get locked into strident, polarizing positions, as if our only choice is between opening our border completely in the name of love, or locking everyone out in the name of security. Let us be clear: this is a false choice. You can care about refugees and care about securing our borders.” Preemptive Love, read full article here
Personally, I’ve just become quite taken with the love of God towards me AND towards refugees. He has grown this same love for Him and for refugees in my own heart and the desire to be with them has turned into an ache.
So I’m going to an island in Greece for the next three weeks. I’m going through YWAM. The work entails hosting refugees in the camps, feeding them, clothing them, and even having some time to relationally minister to them. They run a tea, clothing, and food tent within the camp. There is as well a family compound which acts as a safe centre for families, single women, and minors. Recently they have been starting up different language classes for the refugees as well.
I am so aware that one white, basic, english-speaking, short-term, emotional girl cannot build the dike or even repair the holes in the dike. But, ya’ll, I’m just doing my best to follow the Lamb wherever He goes. And God forbid that I avoid people and places, simply because its messy and I can’t “fix it”. Jesus is the Saviour. I’m along for the ride.
I’m just asking you to pray with me. Pray that God sends workers into the field of unreached refugees. That He moves the church to work with Him wherever He is working. Pray that my own heart is surrendered and bolstered up with all the courage and compassion and hope that it will need. Pray for spiritual and physical protection.