June 2017 Prayer Partner Story: World Refugee Day

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Dear Prayer Partners,

Conflict, war and persecution have driven more than 65 million people from their homes. That is more than the total population of New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin combined.

It can be overwhelming to think about the sheer magnitude of the crisis, but each individual number represents a story and a person made in the image of God. Churches in all parts of the world are responding to their new neighbors with incredible courage, compelled by the teachings of Scripture and the opportunity to share and live out the Gospel.

Forced migration is not new, and we remember that many people in the Bible were forced to flee from their homes. David fled the wrath and jealousy of King Saul, seeking shelter in mountainous caves; Ruth fled famine and was an immigrant laborer working the fields gleaning barley; and Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and crossed borders in captivity. But the most significant refugee of all was Jesus himself. Forced to flee with Mary and Joseph into Egypt after an edict put Jesus’ life in danger, Jesus and his family became refugees. Jesus thus closely identifies with the plight of a refugee because He Himself was one. And those of us who follow Christ know that we are followers of a Middle Eastern refugee.

Scripture continually reminds us that we have an incredible opportunity to demonstrate hospitality to refugees. Jesus reminds us in Matthew 25:35-36 that “I was a stranger and you invited me in … ” and Hebrews 13:2 challenges us to think that by entertaining strangers, we could entertain angels without knowing it.

As followers of Christ, we join with other groups in marking World Refugee Day today, June 20, and in standing with refugees as part of the Stand With Refugees campaign. We celebrate the resilience of refugees and lift up our collective voice to support and pray for refugees around the world.

Would you take a moment to pray?

• Pray for refugees, for their sustenance and hope in the midst of many challenges.

• Pray for places of conflict, that there would be sustained peace, and resolution of ongoing tensions.

• Pray for the church to be equipped and emboldened wherever they are to welcome their refugee neighbors with love and compassion.

• Pray for government leaders, for wisdom in tackling the great challenges of migration.

If you would like more information on how you can take part in the Stand With Refugees campaign, please visit:

http://www.standwithrefugees.us/

Thank You and God Bless,

Jenny Yang

Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Policy

World Relief

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