The mission field that used to be overseas is now coming to North America! Many nations around the world, especially in the EU, have had a massive influx of refugees over the past few years. But sadly, many of the nationals in these nations….even the Christians…are afraid to reach out to the refugees. Recently a man who teaches an English As A Second Language (ESL) in Ohio asked his students to practice with an English friend. He asked them, “How many of you have friends who speak English?”, and not a single person raised their hand! And this is not an unusual case. Many foreign speaking people come to North American shores and no one tries to befriend them. Why is this? Fear? An attitude of judging others? Having, “no time”? No one knows for sure. Even in our work places, refugees may feel like it’s more “cold culture” than the “warm culture” they are used to, where friends invite each other to one another’s homes or even stand outside of homes and talk after work most days. One refugee said, “In this country, my neighbors leave for work in the morning, come home in the evening, and lock themselves inside their homes until the next morning when they return to work! We are used to people being friendlier with each other in my home country.”
So, what can we do as the Body of Christ? On the Friday edition of this blog, we will explore that and give you some tips on how you can get started reaching out to refugees. You will get so much more than you can ever give back!