Yesterday (20 June) World Refugee Day 2018 came (& went), but the issues facing refugees are not something to contemplate just one day of the year.
Imagine if conflict evicted your family (& you) from your home.
Where no place is safe, your country is engulfed in violent turmoil, and you fear for your children and loved ones every minute of every day, what can you do?
Escaping, even with nothing but the clothes on your back, is preferable to certain death that looms ever present. The decision to leave is not hard to make when you’ve also seen your home and everything you possess blown to bits by bombs and violence.
Most likely you have lost loved ones, family, friends, colleagues: conflict’s casualties claim tiny tots to the elderly, no matter how small the crawl or spry the step.
Forced to flee, you eventually make it to a refugee camp, finally accepting the fact that you’ll never return to all you’ve held familiar, because what was is no more. You eke out an existence in the crowded camp waiting (years and years) for an opportunity to make a new home in a new place.
A place where you can find a job, study, make a living, provide for your loved ones.
A place where you don’t have to be afraid every minute of every day.
A place where you can learn to live again, to hope again.
“Today if we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other – that man, that woman, that child is my brother or my sister.” Mother Teresa (Saint Teresa of Calcutta)
Imagine if you live in one of the world’s wealthy countries, where peace and resources are plentiful: food, water, shelter, education, opportunities and freedom.
Is there room in your heart to welcome refugees who have suffered so much?
Refugees seek refuge, a safe place to be. Can you open a refuge in your heart to seek (& be) a safe place for refugees?
Can you be a refuge of hope for refugees to begin again, to learn to hope again?
Or, maybe you think it’s not your problem.
Hey you, someday that refugee could be me, or you.
Today there are more than 68 million refugees and internally displaced persons. If you would like to help, or learn more, here are two organizations (among many) with a long history helping refugees: International Rescue Committee and Catholic Relief Services.
Unless one is Native American, we are all products of refugees, really. I do not even want to venture into how we acquired the land-in the first place. We have to do better.
Michele, the first step is opening our hearts & creating bridges of empathetic understanding in our communities – to welcome refugees who need our support & new opportunities. Blessings! 🌷💜🌷
I agree-compassion. xoxoxoMichele
Amen, Michele. We need fountains of compassion to overflow barriers of indifference – to create bridges of understanding, acceptance & PEACEFUL COEXISTENCE. 🤗✨🌟✨🤗
Very challenging & convicting message, and I know that you speak from firsthand experience and have met and helped many around the globe.
It’s hard to understand all the negative rhetoric about refugees these days – how would we feel if that was our family? and it is, because we are part of this HUMAN family called humanity. Preaching to the choir, I know, Cin! 💜😎💜
Thank you for sharing this important message, Virginia! God bless you! ❤
Blessings back up (& over) to you, Patty. In the past I worked with refugees from whacked out places – many traumatized by violence, who saw homes blown up & lost loved ones. It’s mind (& heart) boggling that comfortably off folks would unwelcomely traumatize them more? 😡☹️😱