Our news media are alive with the global refugee crisis. Words, pictures, video clips flash before us whether or not we want to see them. This flood of desperate people, caught between violent, oppressive government and ISIS, have little choice. If they stay, they will be raped physically and emotionally every day, if not murdered in the streets. They are risking their lives in desperately overcrowded boats, trucks, whatever as they cling to the glimmer of hope that a normal life, a new life can be gained in a new country.
A few weeks ago, we were waiting for the European countries to forget their economic woes and do something for these desperate people. At present, there is no unified plan to help. As wave upon wave of refugees pour into neighbouring countries, we have gradually realized that Canada might have a role to play. We have waited for our government to open the floodgates and help these people. Today, we can wait no longer. Yes, it’s Europe’s job; yes it’s Canada’s job; and YES, IT’S OUR JOB. It’s time for us as individuals to pick up the responsibility and do what we can.
We cannot sit in our peaceful, abundant world and do nothing as the bodies of children, whole families are washed up on the shores of far-off countries. The time for standing by and waiting for someone else to do something is over. A few groups of Canadians are stepping out here and there across our country. Becoming a sponsoring group is not easy. Our government is not smoothing the way, but still some of us are responding. We need more, many, many more.
Today, I challenge myself and you. Let’s look at our community. Is there a sponsoring group set up already? Check out what is needed by them. Find the place where you can help. If there is none, than open your heart to God and gather a few friends to push for action from your group, your local hockey association, church group or your entire small community. Someone needs to take leadership. Maybe that person is you.
As Canadians, what we have done in the past for refugees need not determine our response today. People are desperate and dying today. This is our opportunity to live our faith.
Jesus was once a refugee. “an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” (Matt. 2:13)