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The Spirit is always at work in the world Jesus loves. Our invitation is to participate with the Spirit in the ways and places he is moving. This past month, the UNHCR shared that the Ukraine war and other conflicts/crises have pushed the number of displaced people "over the staggering milestone of 100 million for the first time on record". 100 million people displaced. 100 million people. Each created in the image of God. Uniquely. Creatively. Each with immense worth and dignity. 100 million image-bearers. Image Bearers like Bohdan, Abdinasir and Amira.
In a recent blogpost about mass displacement, our ministry partner at World Relief shared that "people are displaced from their homes for a myriad of reasons -- persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations, and climate-related factors to name a few." Drought in Kenya. Earthquakes in Haiti. Flooding in Sudan. War in Ukraine and Afghanistan.
And amid the immense brokenness of our world, it is easy to become overwhelmed to the point of indifference. And yet, church, we can respond. We can choose to see. We can choose to feel and to be moved to action. To give. To educate. To advocate. To mobilize. We can care.
As a church, we have contributed more than $30,000 to the crisis in Ukraine thus far. Our prayer is that each refugee (both those in Ukraine and around the world would be reminded that God cares for and delights in them. They are not forgotten. However, the deeper invitation for us to engage with the refugees in our own backyard. The Lord is bringing the mission field to us. We at St. Andrew’s believe that our call is to become effective global believers, unified in the name of Jesus, to love our neighbors well! So, we invite you to join one of the many GOOD NEIGHBOR teams in Orange County. These teams are made of several families in our church and they will essentially “adopt” a refugee family for a year. The family will have their own homes to live in, but we will invest relationally by helping them navigate our culture. Imagine not speaking the language, but needing to enroll your kids in school, or learn how to interpret the mail that comes to your home, or where to go in an emergency. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Julie Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Let us not become weary in doing good... [and] as we have the opportunity, let us do good to all people." (Gal 6:9)