From around the world, about 8,000 refugees flee into Canada every year and approximately 60,000 into the USA. Since 1980 America has received about 1.8 million refugees.
Recently the highest numbers of refugees came from Bhutan, Myanmar, Iraq, and Somalia. Think about what these people have gone through. Try to imagine yourself as one of them, on a jet landing in New York City.
Memories haunt you. You can vividly picture the cruel soldiers as you fled while your house burnt to the ground. You still terribly miss neighbors and family members who didn’t make it. Long years have slowly passed in the refugee camps with little to do. You long for a solid education for your children.
You look out the jet’s window at your first glimpse of America. It seems your dreams are about to come true. Yet you shiver in fearful anticipation. “I can’t speak the language. I don’t know where to find the market. I don’t have any idea how to get a job.”
You can’t sit there any longer. It is time to get off the plane. You unbuckle your seatbelt and take a tentative step towards your future and your new country.
If that was really happening, what would you wish a neighbor would do for you? This is our question, because Jesus gave us a clear and golden rule, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” So what will you do?
Feel their pain through their stories.
Learn what others are doing to help.
Find out exactly which refugees have moved near you.
Many texts in the Bible show how much God cares about refugees and immigrants. One of them says,
“The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt; I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:34).
Explore some more of the great passages starting with these references:
“Some Important Texts about Refugees and Immigrants”
Have you thought about how many of your favorite Bible characters had to flee for their lives or immigrate? Enjoy this amazing collection of stories
Use this activity to help you and your friends understand how much God cares about refugees and immigrants. The Bible is full of their stories!
There is a special ministry called Adventist Refugee and Immigrant Ministries (ARIM) from whom you can learn a lot. Terri Salee directs this work based on her many years of experience in personally assisting refugees from various countries in the United States.