Refugees… How can we help?
Many of us have watched the TV in the last few weeks as thousands of people, mainly men, have been caught on camera walking, sailing in ill prepared boats, or arriving in trucks not meant for human habitation into Europe from war torn nations; some dead… some alive. We have seen a young boy’s body washed up on a beach close to where another family was enjoying a fun day out; we have seen something looking like a sea of people moving across land in a desperate search for peace and a better life. It almost seems unreal and yet they are real people, with real families, who woke up this morning under the same skies that we did.
Many people, churches and organisations are collecting clothing and medical supplies to take to these precious people and so much is being done by many believers and non-believers all over the world.
What can we do?
So how can we at Valley Church best really help? How can we show the heart of our father God to these people, loved by him?
As Valley Church alone we could do something, perhaps send some clothes or toiletries, but we are part of something bigger—The Free Methodist Church—and yes we have people and churches already working with these refugees, in the countries where they are flocking to. We have churches who are reaching out, feeding the hungry and treating the sick. This means we have a way to get involved and make a difference; we have the opportunity to get food, clothing and medical equipment quickly into the right hands.
How can I get involved?
Pray for our government and the government of all nations involved; pray for the peace of the nations and for those who have the privilege and responsibility of government; pray for the refugees, for safety from traffickers and anyone who would take advantage of vulnerable people. Finally pray for the church, those who can be our hands and feet, those who can show the love of Jesus to each and every person who comes into their neighbourhood.
The Bishops of The Free Methodist Church have a crisis fund that anyone of us can give into, we can all make a difference. We can give in church on Sunday by marking the envelope with ‘Refugees’ or online via the Free Methodist Website. This money will then go straight to where it is most needed or directly to the churches in Bulgaria to help the refugees who the government are unable to feed.
If you cannot afford to give financially but would like to donate items you can do this at Heritage Church and other venues across Preston.
A message from our Bishop…
If you want to read more our very own bishop, David Roller, has written a blog which I’d encourage you to read.
So, as I close… it is not our right to refuse anyone the physical help they need, whatever our political view, we are in fact privileged to be able to meet the needs of those who come to us and share the love of Jesus with anyone who asks.
Jesus said in Matthew 25:
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, … For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you visited me… Truly, I tell you , whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me’
Romans 12:20 says ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.’
Together, as a community of believers, we can make a difference—a generous heart, a generous spirit, a generous gift, a generous life.
God bless you, as you are a blessing to others,