refugees

2) How Should Christians Respond to Muslim Refugees coming to our Land?

Moscow Grand Mosque

The Syrian war has displaced more than 4 million people, according to the UN refugee agency. “This is the biggest refugee population from a single conflict in a generation!” Governments everywhere are doing their best to absorb these numbers. How will we respond to the large numbers of Muslims refugees coming to our countries and those living in refugee camps? Hear more on this, along with possible solutions, by attending the Legacy 2016 Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Train at Engaging Islam Intensives Course in Boulder, Colorado. In addition, you can book an “Engage Course” at your church, Learn more about the Hope of the Nations Center in Beirut, Lebanon, study the problem of refugee children attending schools like School of Hope in Beirut, Lebanon. To learn more, browse to…

http://www.engagingislam.org

2) Facts, Fear and Faith in a Migrant Crisis

migrant crisisOur response as believers to the historic migrant crisis the world faces will be either a testimony to coming generations of God’s love being lived out through us or a rebuke on our generation for our lack of compassion. We each get to decide. But how can we help those who are struggling with fear? This GMI Digital Single addresses that issue. It is part of a larger book “Serving God in a Migrant Crisis” by Patrick Johnstone and Dean Merrill that will be released in Spring 2016. If you are helping those around you to develop a compassionate response to the Migrant Crisis, this short resource will be a help. See it at…

http://www.gmi.org/products/books/gmibooks/facts-fears-faith-migrant-crisis

14) The BackPage: What was the Biggest Story in 2015? Your Opinion?

In your opinion, what was the biggest story for the past year? … the one that impacted your work and those around you the most? The story that holds the greatest potential for making the world different… or leaving it in a different place?

Many will probably point to the migrant/refugee crisis, especially in Europe. BBC recently did a summary catch-up story at…

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34131911

They say that on Dec. 21st, the world saw a major milestone pass: 1 million migrants had come to Europe in 2015 by land or sea. See their helpful maps and text for full explanation of which countries received the most — and the least. You can also see which countries received the most applications for asylum. The results might surprise you. Also presented: Top-ten countries of origin. You won’t be surprised at the number one homeland (Syria), but you might be surprised at the number two.

But what story is bigger than this for you? Just click on “Comment” after the web version of this item and share your idea (anonymously if you wish).

8) Get the Latest from the High Commission on Refugees about Syria

refugees_sicilyCatch the latest news/updates by the UNHCR on the wave of refugees coming out of Syria by reading…

http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/regional.php#_ga=1.140877690.913936757.1441490715

They typically update it weekly. What you’ll learn there might shock you. For example, they’ve currently registered (officially) 4.4 million refugees from Syria. To put things in perspective, imagine a city the size of Madrid or Buenos Aires or Cape Town or Los Angeles suddenly deciding to evacuate en masse. All of those cities have WAY less population than the current wave of Syrian refugees who are REGISTERED, let alone those who haven’t registered properly yet.

14) What does the Bible Say About Refugees?

We’d like to form a biblical response to the question of what we should do about refugees. Would you help? Here are some scriptures that could relate to the question. Would you please read/study through them, then write your response in the comments following this item on the web? We’ll compile those responses into a compendium and make it available to churches and organizations interested in knowing how God instructs us to respond. Please feel free to refer to other scriptures too.

Psalm 107:1-8
Psalm 142
Psalm 146
Psalm 5:11
Matthew 25:34-40
Exodus 2:15-22
Acts 8:1-8
Acts 18:1-4
1 Samuel 23:9-16
Ruth 1:22 and 2:11-13

Thanks. Please make a note as to how we should refer to you in the compendium. Please be clear if you’d like a name, an email address and/or website to be included with your response. Thanks again.

9) Andrew: How/Where Can we Help Syrian Refugees?

refugees1Andrew is a missions prof at a Bible college in the USA. He’s assembling a list of reputable agencies and individuals who are helping the surge of Syrian refugees. If you know of one, please click “Comment” after the web version of this item. If you would, please list just one link per comment (which allows your comment to appear instantly). We’ll start the list with the outreach featured at…

http://www.JordanRefugee.com

That team has committed that 100% of the funds given at that site will go directly to aid, with not a single dollar being taken out for administration. Where else would you recommend? (Thanks for asking, Andrew!)

14) Backpage: On Religious Fanatacism

axa

Read more about the religious fanatics who took Aqsa’s life here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Aqsa_Parvez . They were her father and brother, who were convicted of the so-called “honor killing,” and are serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole until 2028. (She wouldn’t wear the head-covering supposedly required by her religion.)

We were thinking this past week… When is it ok to be a religious fanatic? One Brigada reader wrote, “I love Muslim people but not their culture. … My culture loves and respects women, and children; affirms love and forgiveness of even enemies; affirms tolerance; believes in democracy; is generous to all in need, even when not returned. Significantly, the Countries of my culture are the ones our Muslim cousins flee to, Countries of their culture are largely or completely closed. May we not be found wanting in love, as we seek to do the right, which is often not the easy or comfortable thing, may all we do and think bring joy to our King….”

We’re thinking that several people must be giving thanks this week for the fact that they have peace in their family. It is, after all, Thanksgiving season for those living in the USA. But for others, this week is not so peaceful. Others have lost loved ones even though they didn’t pick a fight. They’ve lost arms, legs, and futures. They’ve lost education, food, and clean water. They’ve lost homes, cities, and entire COUNTRIES to a struggle they don’t even understand.

Here in Louisville where I (Doug) live, we’ve befriended several Iraqi refugees. They fled Iraq when war flared up there, taking up a new in, of all places, Syria. I’m sure it looked like a good idea at the time. Looking back, not so much. Five years later, they were put on the ruyn again by yet another war they didn’t start. I recently visited a mosque with my son. We spoke with the lead imam there for 2 hours about global problems such as Iraq, Syria, and the Islamic State.

So we’re thinking today — when is it ok to be a religious fanatic? What might be a principle that would work for everyone? There’s only one dictum we’ve been able to conclude so far:

Religious fanatacism is always ok if it doesn’t cause hurt or harm to another. The only time it’s ok to harm another, is in self-defense, or taking the part of one who is unable to defend herself/himself.

What do you think of that principle? Is it one by which you could live? If so, how might we engage the world with this question and this answer?
Please click “comment” after the web version of this item. And, if you’re in a country celebrating Thanksgiving this week, may you have a most blessed and happy Thanksgiving, and may God be glorified in your life.

1) Say Yes to the Pope: You or Your Church Hosting a Refugee Family

refugeesIn last week’s Brigada, we asked how in the world we could possibly make a difference in a refugee/migrant crises that has become a global issue. The item generated several great comments, by the way. See them at…

http://www.brigada.org/2015/09/13_17156

Also, one mobilizer — and a great and long-time friend, Shane Bennett (one of the forces behind Missions Catalyst), had a great idea at…

http://missionscatalyst.net/?p=5852

What if each church (or family?) were to embrace the problem personally by adopting a refugee or a refugee family? Elegantly simple. Brilliant.

4) You Can Engage the World’s Refugee Peoples

Most of the growing number of 15 million refugees in our world are unreached. Some are reporting great stories of openness and opportunities to reach them. Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Orlando would love to have your help in doing just that. Check out “One Year to the Nations” at:

http://www.ywamorlando.com/schools/secondary-training-programs/school-of-missions

You will be well-prepared to impact refugee peoples with the two-handed message of God’s love through evangelism/church planting and community development. Contact them via…
launchteamatywamorlandodotcom
or call (407) 273-1667 for more information.

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