Pastor John keeps reminding us of the importance of community, of having fellowship with one another, of weaving our lives with others. He’s mentioned how this delights God. I do believe that we please Him when we put ourselves aside and decide instead to serve another human being. When this happens beautiful things can be seen: God’s love and mercy, and all those wonderful ‘fruits of the spirit’ come out from it. And I need to remind myself that Jesus gave us a commission to go into the world and preach the gospel. But a year ago I found out that you don’t need a passport or an expensive plane ticket to do this. Amazingly in Boise, some of the world has come to us.
The Congo, Eritrea, Somalia, Nepal, Mongolia, Bhutan, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Kashmir, Burma, Sudan, Afghanistan, Thailand, Liberia are examples of countries where the refugees of Boise have come from.
World Relief is just one organization in the Treasure Valley area that serves refugees for resettlement. Their mission statement is ‘empowering the local church to serve the most vulnerable’. We, as God’s children, are geared to serve and love on the most vulnerable. We were vulnerable when He saved us from our sins so we know the lingo: weak, persecution, saved, new life, new hope. If there is any one group of people who we can serve because of commonality, it is the refugees of Boise.
[churchpack_superquote]“The Church must be the face and hands of Jesus to refugees. The local church, with its emphasis on restored relationships, can meet spiritual, social and physical needs of refugees who are escaping from persecution, war and terror.” – (World Relief)[/churchpack_superquote]
Over the past year we’ve loved on them through a variety of events: barbecues, clothes giveaways, care packages. As a result, many of the refugees know us and look forward to seeing us again. They long for friendships. We’ve lost count on the number of invitations to come over to their house for a chat. And it’s been great to see City Church supporting this amazing community of people. My family has adopted a family that recently moved from Eritrea as a consequence of this great outreach.
So I challenge you to try out the words of Jeremy Camp: ‘take just a little time and show you care’. I think you’ll discover like me, that it’ll be the best several hours you’ve had in a while!