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Welcoming Strangers

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  • Migration |
  • 780 People are praying for this

    Toma is waiting. Refugees are not allowed to work, so he has to wait. I met Toma in the Middle East, where he had been for a couple of years. He wants to come to the UK where his family now live. His tiny home, a thin mattress on cardboard, a tiny gas burner, an old TV and a small table littered with tablets and papers won’t be coming with him.

    He smiles at me when I visit him. There is a glimmer of hope behind his eyes, but I can’t bring good news about his visa. The smile doesn’t leave his face because he’s glad I came, but the hope has flickered out of his eyes. Even now it hurts to think he is still there.

    Toma is not alone in his waiting game. Many will wait for years. The numbers of refugees globally are staggering. The UNHCR estimates that there are as many as 26.4 Million refugees in the world. (1)

    Around 200,000 people in the UK are refugees, asylum seekers or stateless persons. (2) There are so many others in different parts of the world with no new country to go to in order to seek refuge.

    The problems feel vast and complex, but UK churches can help. In the past, a church in Manchester ran a Refugee Come Dine with Me initiative. In Lincolnshire, a group of local churches have come together to see what they could do to help. Some decided to take in families or to support some micro businesses. Others have taught English, set up running clubs or helped with paper-work. There is so much that can be done.

    One of the greatest outcomes already rising from the rubble is that churches from different backgrounds are coming together. As they unite in a common mission, to defend the cause of the fatherless and love ‘the least of these’ they become a powerful instrument of peace and beacons of light in complex and dark places.

    (1) https://www.unhcr.org/uk/figures-at-a-glance

    (2) https://www.unhcr.org/uk/asylum-in-the-uk

     
     

    Thank you for commiting to praying

    Your prayers make a difference! Thank you for praying to see transformation in the lives and communities of Asia & the Arab World.

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