What About Faith?
We want to love refugees unconditionally, with nothing to gain. We are a blessed people, and so we want to bless others in return. The Scriptures clearly tell us to “go” and to “love” and that is our mandate and challenge. We are not doing it in order to “convert” them but because we ourselves have been transformed, and this is what Jesus taught us to do.
We want to ensure that every refugee is respected, as do the resettlement agencies we partner with.
We will not pressure refugees, constantly initiate discussions of religion nor deceive people into coming to religious gatherings.
We will not criticize their religious traditions or culture, nor unintentionally imply that we expect something in return.
Being a living witness in their neighborhood is more of a priority than taking our refugee friends to church. If they ask questions about our faith, or if the subject of religion comes up naturally, we can express our relationship with God in a natural and normal way.
We understand that as Followers of Jesus you daily preach the gospel without opening your mouth just by the life you live through Christ. While building strong friendships with refugees, religion and values will naturally be part of your conversations. These conversations give all parties an opportunity to share what is most precious to us. Reach out with no hidden agendas. Love and serve with Christ as your example.
Here are some easy things that we CAN and SHOULD do in all stages of relationship:
- Genuinely LOVE them, unconditionally
- BE the Good News
- Recognize opportunities to offer GRACE and ENCOURAGEMENT
- LISTEN to their heart … what are their dreams, hurts, joys?
- SHARE yours … be vulnerable
- Build BRIDGES not WALLS. Get on their side … find something to agree with
- Learn to SPEAK THE LANGUAGE of the culture
- Never ARGUE or DEBATE
- Tell STORIES
- PRAY for them and with them