Refugees Among Us

I’ve avoided writing this post because I know I don’t understand all of the complexities of the specific refugee crisis currently fueling much public debate and I seriously doubt that many of those debating it online have much greater understanding than I do.  I’m not writing to take sides because you really don’t need to know my opinion on Syrian refugees any more than I need to know yours.  In my opinion, the bigger question, regardless of which side of the current debate you want to claim, is what are you doing to be Christ to the refugees that are often conveniently ignored?  I think of the refugees who are trying to escape a life of addiction. The refugees trying to be free from a life filled with domestic violence.  The refugees who have served time and need help to keep them from returning to a life of crime.  The refugees of poverty, homelessness, fear, disease, loss, rejection, and/or a mind that’s not functioning as perhaps it once did.  Yes, there are many within our midst who are living as refugees from some traumatic event in their life . . and no, I’m not trying to diminish the trouble and horror faced by refugees from war-torn countries . . . I guess what I’m trying to say is that I believe the actions that you and I take toward the “hidden” refugees in our own cities probably have a lot more to say about our real heart toward refugees than any of our shouting ever will.

So, if you’ve made it this far in the post without deleting it, blocking me, or writing an angry response, here is a list taken from the Hope Ministries website of items that they have need of as they minister to people of my community who are seeking refuge from situations that I haven’t experienced.  I’m guessing most organizations serving in similar ways have a similar list of needs.  I know where God is calling me to start. As you pray, what is He calling you to do?

List from Hope Ministries – South Bend of items needed:

Tampons and pads
Baby wipes
Shaving cream
Men’s t-shirts (Med, LG, XL)
Umbrellas
Band-Aid
Toothpaste
Denture adhesive
Panty Liners
Household cleaning supplies (dish soap, antibacterial cleaners, mops, brooms, etc)
Toilet paper
Ibuprofen and pain relievers
Kleenex
Ear plugs
Transpo Bus 2-Ride Passes
Bath towels
Clean pillows
Bike locks
Adult bikes in good condition
Shampoo and conditioner
Large sizes of diapers and pull-ups (size 4 and up)
Paper towels
Alarm clocks
Body wash
Unscented lotion
New socks for adults
Large sizes of women’s bras
New underwear for men (Med-Large)
Maxi pads
African American haircare products
Boxes of cereal
Sugar
#10 cans of pudding, fruit and chilli beans
Walmart gift cards (for prescription co-pays)
Coffee
Deodorant
Powdered laundry detergent
Shaving razors

In prayer,
Tom

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