111715 + 111815: Syrian Refugee Crisis

I rarely ask this on my blog, but this one is important:

Do not start reading this blog post unless you intend on reading all of it. 

Continue, if you will read this in it’s entirety, otherwise, close this window and go back to scrolling Facebook.

Not quite three weeks ago, my Facebook news feed was full of #CollinsForChrist and people standing up for what I believed was Christ. Now.. Maybe it was just a bunch of lights that they stood up for.

Every time I hear the word REFUGEE, this is the image I see.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 6.47.05 PM

 

That image, right there.

That small, tiny, little boy, laying in the sand. Washed up on shore, with his little shoes both still on and his little wet clothes stuck to his still, lifeless body. That little body is what I see when I hear the word REFUGEE.

This little boy, Aylan Kurdi, was a refugee. He was 3 when his parents and his brother (5 years old) left on a boat, attempting to make it to Greece. The Father made it. He lost his wife, who was 32, and his two sons on his trek away from his homeland of Syria.

His situation was so unbearable, so fearful, that his parents thought, “It is better for us to risk death at sea, than to stay where we are and risk public amputation, caning, whipping, beheading, death…”

I see his body and then I look at Judah and….I have to hold back my tears. I’m usually unsuccessful.

Everyone has an opinion about this crisis and the way it may or may not impact the United States.

The refugee crisis is in full blown media mode at this point. But here’s the thing – the Syrians started fleeing and became refugees back in 2011. They aren’t suddenly deciding to become refugees. They’ve been running from ISIS for years.

And the ISIS terrorist that we are all afraid of sneaking into the United States with them? Believe me, they’d have an easier time sneaking in the US in ways not related to refugee asylum. Trust me.

Did you know…

…There are over 750,000 refugees already in the United States, that have trickled in since 9/11?

…none of which have ever been arrested on terrorism charges?

…the most violent extremists in the U.S. are actually natural-born citizens?

Yeah. That’s FACT.

Did you know that the pictures/news posts you’ve been spreading around about the 10,000 new refugees coming to the US isn’t a picture of what will actually happen?

The refugees will not be walking off of a boat in a group of 10,000.

It takes 18-24 months before they are allowed to enter the US. It’s a long and drawn out process, a process which most terrorist probably don’t care to go through. More than likely, the terrorist will sneak into the country like the rest of the illegals do. Also, if you don’t believe ISIS is already in the United States, then get your head out of the sand.

The refugees come in small groups- groups of their family. Usually, one family at a time. Here recently, New Orleans saw some come in. Somehow the news got everyone believing it was a flood of folks. Actually it was 2 families, with a third coming in soon.

Ok, before you toss me out…

I’m NOT saying we need to accept any and every refugee.

I’m NOT saying we need to trust everyone who applies to be vetted to the United States.

I’m NOT saying lets get stupid with our rules and start opening the flood gates.

I’m NOT saying let our guard down.

I’m NOT saying BRING EVERYONE WE’VE GOT SPACE!

I believe we need to be strict and careful.

I believe we need to be cautious and aware.

I believe we need to do what Christ has called us to do, as a Nation built on his word.

What does Jesus tell us?

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me inI needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.

Matthew 25:35-36

That is JESUS’s words. Following Jesus isn’t easy.

He calls us to do things that require actual faith in action.

Jesus never called us to a calm and mundane life, and if you think that, then you need to dust off your Bible and start reading it again.

“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

Matthew 10:34

Jesus isn’t calling us to be stupid and hasty about letting the refugees find refuge here, but I do believe that he is calling us to help them in any way that we can.

Jesus is love.

He loved that little boy whose body washed up in the sand.

We need to help these people in whatever method or manner we are capable of.

What I’ve been seeing is this:

“We will stand together united to keep some lights up on display, but when it comes to standing up for people who are afraid and lost and praying for a place they can flee to, away from public executions, away from public beheadings, away from having a body left out on display for days afterwards so people know that ISIS is serious… When it comes to offering these people a place to live and live freely, we say NO. You are not allowed to enjoy in our FREEDOM. Because we are scared of what could happen. God isn’t big enough to protect us. We want to do it ourselves.”

That is what I disagree with. Fear of the what if, and that fear not allowing us to help thousands of people who are just like ourselves, but born on the other side of the world.

If you don’t think any refugees should be brought into the US, that’s fine. It is what it is. But PRAY for them. And don’t just say, “Oh, I’ll pray for them, but they need to stay where they are…” That’s not love. That is NOT love. And that sort of prayer doesn’t help.

I pray that you consider your freedoms and the grace that God has given you, and the mercy he bestowed by allowing you to be born into this great free Nation. Look into what ISIS is doing to these people, and you’ll see much more of the freedoms that we have.

If nothing else, realize how blessed you are.

Thank you for sticking with me til the end of this post.

I’m going to go hold my Judah now.

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