Answering God’s Call To Serve Refugees

From Jewish Law to Christian Gospel, the call of God is unmistakable. The Church and its people must care for the foreigner and stranger, the oppressed and dispossessed – in a word, the refugee. And when we answer that call, blessings return to us tenfold. Foreigners become friends. Strangers become neighbors. Refugees contribute to our broader economy, culture and community.

At Lutheran Community Services Northwest, we are grateful for Church partners who support this work with hands, hearts and prayers. With your help we have resettled more than 700 Afghans since August. But the work is far from done. Today we stand at an Easter season crossroads, preparing for a wave of Ukrainian evacuees, plus more Afghans. The pace is also quickening for refugees arriving from other continents.

Leviticus 19:34 - “The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt.”

Hebrews 13:2 - “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

Answering the call is no less urgent than it was nine months ago.

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“I was a stranger and you welcomed me…”
[Matthew 25:35]

With those words Jesus inspires us to see that helping Afghan refugees get settled in a foreign land is something we do unto Him. It might be sacrilegious to say that there’s more to it than that, but we at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church have found the people we have met to be inspiring.

We started out by offering space for furniture donations to come in and then go out, but now have a Good Neighbor team as well. How great it is to show Christ’s love in such practical ways. “I needed a kitchen table and four chairs, a dresser, and a ride to the doctor, and you provided them.” Okay, Jesus didn’t actually say that in the Bible, but we think it’s a valid interpretation.

– Pastor Ted Moeller, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Vancouver WA