And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward. – Matthew 10:42
We know there is a problem. We know the Church must address it and that it is in a unique position to do so. We have the knowledge, so what do we do now?
We act in ways that are driven and covered in prayer. We mourn with righteous lamentation. We desire to serve and be with refugees. We see and know and come alongside sojourners and exiles everywhere. These are the beginnings of Christian movement on behalf of the uprooted in the hearts of Christians.
Such actions, usually begun in individuals, are invaluable.
This series is also about the actions of the larger Church, the coalescing, compounding body of Christians that has singular power and calling to address refugeeism. The following three chapters are about the Church’s response.
There are three primary means for the Church to respond to refugeeism today.
- Humanitarian aid: the Church can meet the basic needs of displaced people where they are.
- Resettlement: the Church can assist in the movement of displaced people from their countries of origin or temporary asylum to third countries where they will be permanently resettled. We can help in the moving process, the transition phase, and in ongoing hospitality.
- Structure change: the Church can address underlying problems, responding to the root political, economic, social, and spiritual problems that create the initial conditions of forced displacement.