You don’t have to look far to come across news reports of the refugee crisis in the Middle East. I recently read this account on the Humans of New York Instagram  of an unnamed refugee and his companions who fled their country in search of not jobs, or a better education, or a higher quality of life, but they fled in search of LIFE.

Here’s part of his story: “The island we landed on was called Samothrace. We were so thankful to be there. We thought we’d reached safety. We began to walk toward the police station to register as refugees. We even asked a man on the side of the road to call the police for us… Suddenly two police jeeps came speeding toward us and slammed on the brakes. They acted like we were murderers and they’d been searching for us. They pointed guns at us and screamed: ‘Hands up!’ I told them: ‘Please, we just escaped the war, we are not criminals!’ They said: ‘Shut up, Malaka!’ I will never forget this word: ‘Malaka, Malaka, Malaka.’ It was all they called us. They threw us into prison. Our clothes were wet and we could not stop shivering. We could not sleep. I can still feel this cold in my bones. For three days we had no food or water. I told the police: ‘We don’t need food, but please give us water.’ I begged the commander to let us drink…. He chose to watch seven people suffer from thirst for three days while they begged him for water. We were saved when they finally they put us on a boat and sent us to a camp on the mainland…. We walked for three weeks. I ate nothing but leaves. Like an animal. We drank from dirty rivers. My legs grew so swollen that I had to take off my shoes. When we reached the border, an Albanian policeman found us and asked if we were refugees. When we told him ‘yes,’ he said that he would help us….  I did not trust this man, but I was too tired to run. When night came, he loaded us all into his car. Then he drove us to his house and let us stay there for one week. He bought us new clothes. He fed us every night. He told me: ‘Do not be ashamed. I have also lived through a war. You are now my family and this is your house too.”

This story is heart-breaking but it is one of tens of thousands. I have heard people pass comments like, “Why don’t the Arab nations take these people in” or “These refugees are radical Muslims in disguise, trying to take over the West.” Maybe you’ve heard comments too?

These stories remind me of the parable Jesus told in Luke 10:30-37 explaining what it means to love your neighbour. Well-meaning people, Godly people walked by with contempt, disgust and fear and wouldn’t help the man who had been attacked by robbers. Then finally, a Samaritan man walked by and had compassion on him and took care of him until he had recovered from the attack on his life.

Let’s not repeat the story found in Luke 10. Let’s not judge these refugees or cynically expect the very worst. Let’s reach out, help them, and take care of them. And if not physically, then let’s pray for them:

  • Pray that many “Good Samaritans” will find them and help them.
  • Pray for peace in their nations.
  • Pray that no more lives will be lost.
  • Pray for darkness and evil to be overcome with the light and love of Jesus Christ.

This world would be a better place if we truly followed the teachings of Jesus in our actions, our words and our thoughts and loved our neighbour as ourselves.

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