Friday, 12 May 2017

Christian Aid Week 2017


Most refugees have fled terrifying and violent situations which you would not chose to experience. That is why they have fled. We are privileged to have people who we can help who have experienced such terrible events. Many make dangerous journeys across land and sea to get to safety. Often these journeys involve people smugglers, going to Greece or North Africa and spending their life savings and selling their homes to get to safety. Imagine if you had to do that. 

Many have to stay in Refugee camps where there is no work or school and few medical facilities. Many young travel on their own or without their parents. 

We are so interconnected now so these problems may seem a long way away but they turn up on our doorsteps. Why should we care? Because we are people who come every Sunday to Gods house because we are Christians. We are called to care and to be a refuge and safe place, to prepare a place of welcome, which we do.

Today, 65 million people are displaced across the world. They have no home and until they find 
permanent sanctuary, they live in limbo. We are Gods hands, Gods feet, Gods people. We can make a difference. 

But most of these people are not here, they are in developing countries which are struggling to cope – 80% of all refugees are living in developing countries. Refugees speak of the agony of living in limbo, stuck and stopped at a borders, unable to move, unable to work or have access to education for their children, not knowing when, if ever, they will know what their future holds or where it lies. After losing everything, and often everyone, they move to more uncertainty and anxiety – their time is in the hands of others. Us.

God’s ways are often different to the ways of the world. Jesus was often found with those who are suffering and marginalised. Jesus says: ‘If you love me you will keep my commandments’. In John 15:12 he expands this: ‘My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.’

What does Jesus require of us in order to describe ourselves as neighbours? The Samaritan in Luke 10 was the most unlikely of the three men to prove a neighbour, but he crossed barriers of race, religion and culture to do so. In telling this story, Jesus is clearly showing us that we should be a neighbour to people from different backgrounds, faiths and nationalities to our own.

Throughout his life, Jesus accepted all people and showed compassion to those on the edge. 
He challenges our prejudice against people who are not like us, even those we have considered enemies. Instead he says we should make them our neighbours, and love them as ourselves.
The  fruit of our relationship with God is to love our brothers and sisters and to show mercy towards others.

Christian Aid has been working with refugees since they were founded. Christian Aid calls on world leaders to commit to long-term plans for assisting countries hosting refugees and communities hosting large numbers of people who have been displaced within their own countries. 
From providing blankets, food and shelter, to specialist services such as physiotherapy for people with disabilities or legal support, Christian Aid has been a rock for those in need and far from home.Tens of millions of people in our world have had to flee their homes and they need people who are willing to reach out to them across barriers of race, religion and culture. This Christian Aid 
Week,  let's help them to help others. 


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Dust and Ashes by Brian Wren

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