A WORD FROM CHRIS ELLIS

adapted from a News from Second Baptist email published September 17, 2015

It's been almost three weeks since the drowning of a Syrian boy forced the world to acknowledge the plight of the Syrian refugees who are fleeing for their lives.  But still the crisis doesn't show any signs of ending. More people are fleeing.  More people are needlessly dying. More people are dreaming of a life for their family that doesn't involve hunger, war and homelessness. As Christians, we should understand and identify with refugees. After all, the stories of refugees are throughout our Holy Scripture.  Stop for a moment and think of how many of their stories you can recall.  Here are just a few: Moses, Abraham, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, Hagar and Ishmael, Ruth and Naomi, Jesus, Aquila and Pricilla. There are literally hundreds of stories in the Bible of people fleeing war, famine, and persecution - just as many Syrians are doing today.

But in some ways it's easier to name the stories of the past because at face value they don't require anything of us. But being a follower of Jesus does require something of us. So what can you/we do?

Pray. Pray for shelter, food, safety and an end to the conflict. Pray for those on the front lines who are seeking to care for the refugees. For a prayer resource, click here. We cannot underestimate what prayer can do.

Be aware. Make sure you know what's going on. There are all kinds of places for information, but one blog I've been following is here. It's from a friend of mine who is a CBF field personnel in Belgium. Members of her own family are Syrian refugees and she's been on a two year journey trying to find and help them.

Give. You can donate to CBF, who has folks on the ground.

The Bible is full of stories about refugees. Let's not just remember those stories but allow them to push us towards getting engaged on behalf of those who leave their home because of war, famine and persecution. 

Grace and peace,

Chris
Minister of Mission and Outreach, Second Baptist Church, Little Rock