How can we help all the refugees?
So many people are suffering ... but is there anything Christians can do about it?
You’ve probably seen on the news that conflict in the Middle East has resulted in the biggest refugee crisis since World War 2. Millions of people have fled their homes in search of a new life in a country where they can find work, their children will be safe and the future isn’t quite so terrifying.
Seeing all these people on the news, desperately trying to find a better life can leave us feeling quite helpless and sad, particularly as young people! But there are some things that we, as Christians, can do to help out! Here are four things we can do to help refugees.
Prayer is powerful! When we pray, God promises to listen and respond. So our first response to seeing something sad should be to pray. Here are some things you could pray for…
- Pray that peace would come to regions in turmoil so that people are no longer forced to leave
- Pray that governments would be compassionate and provide safe ways for people to come to new countries to settle
- Pray that refugees would find jobs, education for their children, housing and food
- Pray that Christian refugees would use the opportunity of travelling with others or living with others in refugee camps to share the gospel
Offer practical help
There are many organisations you can support that are providing practical help to refugees, both in your country and in their home countries. You might like to consider a financial donation to an organisation like the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), which is providing direct help to displaced people around the world through offering things like vaccinations, food, and warm blankets.
Alternatively, you could get involved at a more grassroots level with a local organisation. In Sydney, where I live, there’s an organisation called Simple Love that partners with churches to provide groceries to refugees who have been settled in Australia. Try a Google search for organisations like this in your area!
Petition the government
If you don’t feel the government in your country, state or local area is doing enough to help refugees, let them know. Write a letter, sign a petition, ring them up or go to their office and ask to speak to your local politician. Politicians are meant to listen to the people in their areas to hear what’s important to them, so take advantage of this! You might have a bit of a hard time getting their attention if you’re under voting age, but that is no reason to give up.
If you are old enough to vote, use your vote to help those who cannot help themselves. Vote for politicians and parties who will be compassionate and generous towards refugees.
Write to a refugee
There are many organisations who are collecting letters and messages for refugees, to encourage and inspire them as they face difficult circumstances. Why not write a letter to people who really need to be encouraged? Do a quick Google search for “write to a refugee” to find an organisation that facilitates letter writing in your area.
Remember – refugees are people just like us, created in the image of God, and they deserve the dignity and opportunities that we all have. So next time you see something sad on the news about people fleeing their homes, don’t just watch. Respond with love and show these people that they matter to you and to God.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons