Pastor’s ponderings

As our country completes its withdrawal of personnel from Afghanistan, after two decades of being present there, we also have brought home to the U.S. a number of refugees.  In fact, it has been reported that tens of thousands of Afghans who helped Americans during the 20-year war, have now been brought to this country for their safety.  Closest to home (less than 30 miles from our Parish, and less than 15 from my home) we can find almost 3,500 of these refugees who have taken up residency at Fort Lee.

The question is – what can we do to help them?  Most have arrived with little to nothing but the clothes on their backs.  The evacuation was so quick, there was no time, let alone space, to bring much in the way of personal belongings.  Their most basic supplies are not at their disposal; they have nothing to call their own.

 It is in this that I consider what God told the Israelites:

“‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God” (Lev 19:33-34, NIV).

The chaplain’s corps at Fort Lee has issued a list of needs for those now under their care.  If you are interested in how you can help, please let me know, and I will provide you with the list.  If you can’t currently provide in the way of material items or funding, please at least pray, and pray fervently for them and their situation.  They all have a long road ahead of them, as they now begin to find a home amongst us, in our nearby communities.

 May God bless these “foreign” “strangers” and all of us as we begin to live together in this land.

                                                Pastor Steve

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it” (Heb 13:2, NIV).

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