God’s Word Tells Us How to Respond to Refugees

Bible with journal

Who is a refugee? Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines refugee as “one that flees for safety; especially one who flees to a foreign country or power to escape danger or persecution.” Therefore, refugees are immigrants who seek asylum either for ethnic or religious reasons or are driven away from their home by natural disasters. Nonetheless, they have become foreigners in a new place.

As Christians, how are we to respond to the plight of refugees? What if they have different customs and religious beliefs? In Exodus 23:9, God told the Israelites, “Do not oppress a foreigner; you yourselves know how it feels to be foreigners, because you were foreigners in Egypt.” In Jeremiah 22:3, the prophet reminded King Zedekiah to “do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place.” Ezekiel 22:29 and Malachi 3:5 also speak of not oppressing the stranger.

But how can you help refugees in the United States and around the world? You are only 1 person. Just as God had a plan for those foreigners who were residing in His promised land, He has a plan that will allow you to show His love in very practical ways.

In the US, you can teach English through your church or literacy programs, such as the National Center for Families Learning Literacy or the Teaching English with Excellence (TEX) program. Many churches already have literacy programs, but if not, you can start one. TEX, like many others, provides curriculum that includes the Bible or Bible stories. I have used the Bible as the text so I could introduce internationals to the one true God.

Organizations like Baptist Global Response (BGR) allow you as an individual to partner with them to reach around the world to help refugees who are starving for food and water because of disasters or who are living in refugee camps. Here are some specific ways BGR allows you to make that global reach:

  • With $10 you can provide a refugee with a blanket or a temporary shelter’s tarp for a homeless family.
  • With $20 you can provide 1 person with a hygiene kit.
  • With $50 you can provide refugees with basic needs for survival or feed a refugee family for a month.
  • With $500 you can help a family build a new home.

To donate through BGR, mail gifts to Baptist Global Response, PO Box 930507, Atlanta, GA 31193-0507; call 866-359-2852; or give online at gobgr.org. If you want to get involved in a project to help refugees through BGR, then attend a training session and participate in a volunteer project. The first step is to pray; BGR has a list of specific needs for which you can pray.

Giving, going, and praying are the keys to your response to refugees, those in desperate need, especially to show God’s love in action.

Virginia Kreimeyer writes from her home in Texas and shares Christ through mission trips and ministry with Texas Baptist Men’s Disaster Relief.

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