(This blog includes content from Pastor Adam’s recent writing on the subject)
As you probably know, concern for refugees and the poorest among us has come up in the news this week. So in order to be a church that adds action to passion, our new Local Missions Team, led by the great Jacqueline Turner, has put together a list of service opportunities for locally impacting the refugees in our midst. Here are the practical things we can do right now:
A lot of great, godly charities are funneling money and resources to those fleeing persecution. Because we live in the richest country on earth, our donations can make a huge impact. Consider partnering with them. Here’s one, and here’s another, and here’s another, and here’s another one.
If you belong to Jesus, you have at your disposal the most powerful, history-altering resource known to humanity — prayer. Pray for the refugees. Pray for the leaders of their broken countries. Pray for our own leaders, to practice compassion for the least of these while trying to secure our borders. Pray against a spirit of fear which foments our worst natures.
There are some great organizations that serve incoming refugees. Let’s be known as those who welcome them, care for them, and serve them. We Christians are pro-life people. From conception to resurrection, people matter to God. Let’s find ways to serve them. Here are some local places to do just that:
- The Emmanuel Gospel Center’s Great Boston Refugee Ministry
- The Boston Center for Refugee Health and Human Rights
- The New American Center
We’d love to invite you to be a part of the Local Missions Team, so if you’re interested in service opportunities long term, sign up for more information.
After preaching yesterday on the refugee crisis and God’s heart for the nations, I spoke with many internationals who were grateful to have found a place that welcomed them. While I know a thousand things our church can do better, I was glad for the little grace of foreigners feeling welcomed in our midst. When you meet your refugee neighbor, invite them into your community, your home, and your circle of friends, and yes, your church.
Part of the responsibility of God’s people is to speak prophetically to our leaders when they go astray. Protest is a longstanding American tradition and a protected civil liberty. So, when appropriate, be present to be heard. Call your congressmen and senator. Advocate for godly, compassionate, and wise rule in our land. Just remember that as you do, God hears what you say and how you say it. In these gatherings there will always be temptation to give way to the worst parts of our common humanity. So often our enemy can turn righteous anger into sinful rage. So, as a mentor once told me, speak truth in a way that you’d want to hear it if you were the one in the wrong.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. (Lk. 10:27)
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Eph. 4:2-3)