Leviticus 19:33–34 says, “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”
The Lord has provided us with the opportunity to share His love with the nations. Did you know there are an estimated 26.6 million refugees in the world today?
The UN Refugee Agency defines a refugee as “someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.”
Through the WMU Compassion Ministries Christian Women’s Job Corps/Christian Men’s Job Corps (CWJC/CMJC) and WorldCrafts, refugees are learning about the hope they can have in our heavenly Father. Through Begin Anew, a CWJC/CMJC site in Nashville, Tennessee, refugees are involved in English as a second language, job readiness, and high school equivalency classes. Through Refugee Sewing Society, a WorldCrafts artisan group, refugees are given the opportunity to earn a sustainable living with dignity.
June 20 is World Refugee Day. Consider the following options as you engage those in your church and community to love the stranger among you.
Seeking Refuge: A Refugee Simulation provides participants a glimpse into some of the difficult decisions and struggles refugees face as they’re forced to leave behind their homes and ways of life. Designed for students and adults, Seeking Refuge guides participants to better understand refugees’ critical needs and how to pray for and serve refugees around the world.
Another simulation, Displaced: Seeking Home, provides participants a glimpse into some of the difficult decisions and struggles refugees and displaced people in the United States experience as they go through the difficult resettlement process. Designed for students and adults, Displaced: Seeking Home offers a deeper understanding of life as a refugee and displaced person in the US.
Learn More about Refugees
Another resource provided by WMU is the self-guided, online minicourse Refugees: The Church’s Response. The course explains how WMU Compassion Ministries provides ways to support refugees. It includes information about who the displaced are, the realities faced by refugees, information about the resettlement process, and ways the church can respond to the refugee crisis. Leaders will be equipped with the resources to train others about refugees.
You can directly support Refugee Sewing Society artisans by purchasing their African Cross available through WorldCrafts.
Lena Kappen serves on the compassion ministries hub at WMU