In recognition of World Refugee Day we want to share Mejra’s story:
Mejra works as a hair stylist. A number of years ago, she and her family fled the civil war in her home country. After spending more than two years in a refugee camp, they were able to immigrate to the United States.
When they came to America, Mejra and her family were Muslims. It was through the love shown to them by American Christians that they gave their lives to Jesus. They have lived in the US for several years now and are excited about the possibility of visiting their country of birth – not only to see friends and family, but to share the Good News. Before coming to the US, Mejra had never heard about Jesus, and is excited to share the Gospel with her Muslim friends – hoping that some of them will also give their lives to Christ.
The United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHCR) reports that at the end of 2015 there were 65.3 million people in the world who, like Mejra, fled civil war, religious or political persecution, ethnic cleansing or natural disasters. The number of displaced people has increased by 50% in the last five years, so that now one of every 113 people living on planet earth is a refugee, asylum-seeker or is internally displaced within their home nation.
How can Christians respond to the worldwide refugee crises?
- Pray – Pray for peace where there is conflict.
- Encourage – Encourage the governments of our home countries (especially in the Western world) to open our doors to refugees. In 2016 the USA promised to take about 85,000 refugees, of which 10,000 would come from Syria. It is unlikely that America will meet even these modest goals.
- Walk Alongside – Get involved in refugee ministry in your community. Get to know your international neighbors. Invite a refugee family for a meal, build relationships and share your life. See how you can serve in the name of Jesus. Look for immigrant churches in your community.
- Realize God is at Work – For years Christians have been praying for the 10/40 Window – that part of the world that has the least access to the Gospel. The Good News is that God is now bringing the 10/40 Window to us! Global migration is not an accident – it is part of what God is doing. Acts 17 tells us that “God made all nations who live on earth, and He decided when and where every nation should be”. It seems that in our day, God is bringing the nations to us. Let’s understand that God is at work and let’s be His hands and feet. The result will be that millions more, like Mejra, will hear and respond to the Good News.
Learn more about DAI’s work with immigrants in North America.