Jesus was a refugee. Jesus’s family was forced to flee due to persecution and violence in their home country.
Most of the early church were refugees. We read in the book of Acts chapter 8 due to persecution and violence the church was scattered to different lands. Just take a minute to consider what that meant for them.
Throughout scripture Gods people, have often been in foreign lands as refugees for example, Abraham, Joseph, Moses, arguable the whole people of Israel in Exodus, the list goes on and on and on.
As Christians being citizens of heaven, we are in a spiritual sens living in a foreign land.
Gods people in scripture are instructed to care and honour the stranger. In fact I remember when Angela was preaching about Sodom and Gomorrah, she rightly pointed out that the reason God judged them, was their lack of care and hospitality to strangers.
What does it mean for us as a church? Well we as Gods people have an obligation to welcome and give hospitality to strangers.
Before I worked at Community Church Blackburn, I had the privilege of working for the ARC Project Blackburn, which is a charity running during the week in Wesley Hall where we worship, which helps refugees and asylum seekers settle into the UK.
Please look at their website and if you click on the video you will meet some of my special friends 😊 https://www.arcprojectblackburn.com/aboutus.htm
During my time there I met the most amazing, resourceful, gracious and fun people. I also witnessed the lamentable, unjust, unwise, evil policies and processes set out in this country. I can assure you Injustice is live and well in the UK today!
Please pray for our government, both national and local, that they will govern, wisely graciously and full of humanity.
Please also continue to pray for the ARC project, that it will be filled with the love of Jesus and be anchored to Kingdom of God values.
Due to our location as a church, we are also blessed to have quite a few members who have been through the asylum and refugee system. We also have quite a few that are presently in it and are in dire straits being literally homeless, with no right to any form of provision, or being allowed to work.
If you want to know more look at this excellent web site. https://naccom.org.uk/
Please really pray for them and their situations. Often the best thing a church can provide to these member is love and friendship as they are totally isolated from family. Why don’t you invite one of our refugees and asylum seekers lunch after church? You may be showing hospitality to angels!
Due to our circumstances as a church we are developing quite an experience and expertise in this area and we would slowly like to become more involved with the charity called Welcome Churches https://www.welcomechurches.org/ which is a great ministry and great resource.
Finally a bit of a Cheeky prayer request. My amazing wife Lisa, as well as being a busy mum and putting up with me, is working on an amazing project trying to find housing solutions for refugees
and asylum seekers. You can look at what she’s doing here https://www.facebook.com/LancashireSanctuaryHomesProject
or if you get chance have a chat with her about it.
But most importantly please pray that God Kingdom advances through it!
Helpful Bible Verses
And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ
“This is what the LORD Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’