2016: The Year of Refugees

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The contrast couldn’t be more subtle. The beauty of Paris was marked by the pain of war.  Guns, refugees, and fear was in a place where it didn’t seem to belong.

refuigee-soldiers

Every time I leave America, I face refugees along the tourist paths.  Every country is being impacted by the immigration of people some refugees and others looking for a way out of poverty.  The world is different now.  And Europe is feeling the pressure.

refugee-mom
Day after day, I found this mother and baby at this bank begging.

We have more refugees in the world than ever in history.  You can be standing on the richest streets in the world yet at your feet is a family with a baby who spend night after night in the cold.

refugee-sants
This family sat in the cold right next to the Eiffel Tower with baby in arms.

I met this beautiful 2 year old who spent months out in the cold in Paris with no hope of a home.  The father is gone leaving this mother and daughter homeless.

refugee-baby heres-mom

The ancient cathedrals which represent saints of the past who were heroes to the homeless and poor have now lost their power to meet the needs of the refugees living in inhumane conditions right outside their doors.  Ancient cathedrals are now museums remembering the good acts that have gone before us but heroes today are few especially in comparison to the increase in population.  We want to help but we are then confronted and confused with problems such as imposters holding signs claiming to be refugees, but are they?

refugee-sign

With these doubts, who do we help and how?! So many of us are confused about what to do next.  The crisis may seem to be on the other side of the world but the good news is that it is not.  There are those near you today who have been affected by this crisis and are currently under the stress of being a foreigner in a new land.  Check out this NY Times article and map to find where they are living near you. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/08/30/us/syrian-refugees-in-the-united-states.html?_r=0

We look at this problem like so many others and we are quick to think that money is the solution but the problem lies there.  Relationship and love with sacrifice is the solution.  After many years of helping the poor, I cannot be more convinced of this.  We must go deep into peoples lives so that we can truly understand their problem.  We then can move with compassion and true love to meet the need right where it is whether the answer is money or just a friend.  Often our money makes it worst when we don’t understand the cause and effect our money has in the hands of the needy whether refugee or those living in poverty.

Their hearts moved with compassion, Callie and Brooke choose to give.

We do need to understand it for 2017.  We need to understand it because it will effect us.  We need to understand it because they need us, not our wallets.  We need to understand because Jesus, who we just celebrated, was a refugee too.

Where to begin? Make new friends today.  Seek out those in need and spend time with them.  It will be awkward, maybe painful, it will cause you to question many things, but most importantly it will challenge you and change the world!  I will share a link to an article I wrote about the kind of friends you need for 2017!   https://millionairesdigest.wordpress.com/2016/12/27/7-relationships-that-will-change-your-life-2-min-read/

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