Lament and Compassion for Our Most Vulnerable Neighbors

written by David Stetler, Associate Director

Last week the global refugee crisis reached a tragic peak with over four million people fleeing across borders with no other option but to risk their lives over and over again in search of peace. Mothers carry their babies to the boats because the ocean is more safe than the land they once called home. Families leave their memories of peace and walk dangerous journeys through foreign lands with no hope of their lives ever being the same.

Our hearts are in anguish during this time of world crisis and we lament the pain and suffering that so many innocent people bear upon their shoulders. The weight is too heavy, the pain is too great and the journey too difficult. With the most peaceful of refugees at the greatest risk of vulnerability, we cry out for them in their suffering. Their freedom stripped away, their voice stolen and sadly, for too many, their lives taken. And so, we cry out for the least of these...

“How long oh long?

We don’t know how long, but as we continue lamenting we also place our hope in a different reality.  The reality that The One who holds it all together is making all things new and that someday He will make beauty from ashes, and swords will be turned into plows and captives will be set free.

Despite the horrific injustice, we see that God is still in control. From the beginning of time He has used the displacement of people all over this world to draw them to Himself and He will continue to do this until all who mourn will be comforted. Until then, we will open our hearts, our lives and our homes to welcome the stranger and proclaim freedom for the oppressed.  

At Mission Adelante we understand the complexity that our nation faces in such a crisis as this. We also know that it would not be right to ignore the plight of 4 million refugees who are fleeing persecution.

We recognize that compassion is often risky and that danger is real. As followers of Jesus, He calls us to love our neighbors as ourselves, and He even calls us to love our enemies. We love because He first loved us, and this love that He has given us, casts out all fear. We have been given faith and hope instead of fear. We have been given love instead of hatred. Will you stand with us as we stand for those who can’t? Will you speak up for the voiceless? Will you take a compassionate stand to welcome the least of these, our most vulnerable neighbors? Will you advocate for the safe screening and resettlement of Syrian Refugees?

And Jesus said to him, “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”