Something to think about...what would you take with you, if you only had 10 minutes before you had to leave your home for good, with no planned destination to go to?
Refugees (35 million) - People forced to flee their homes to another country due to persecution, violence or war.
Internally Displaced Person (IDP) (62.5 million) - People who are forced to leave their home but who remain within their country's borders (e.g. victims of natural disasters). Often forgotten citizens facing challenges like lack of access to food, shelter, education and other basic needs.
Asylum Seeker (2.9 million) - people who have left their country and are seeking protection from persecution and serious human rights violations in another country. They haven’t yet been legally recognised as a refugee and are waiting to receive a decision on their asylum claim.
Listen to 'Who is a Refugee?' Video link button at end (see below).
God has a special place in his heart for refugees. God’s people were refugees in Egypt. God’s son was a refugee and a wanderer, moving from village to village and in God’s Church's today we are like refugees and strangers. Living in a world full of pain, violence and sorrow. Living by a different set of values which makes us stand out in a crowd and not ’fit in’....’like’ strangers. Do you feel what it’s like to be a stranger?
Have Listen to the Ross Langmead song ‘Finding a home’
Click on the Link: rosslangmead.50webs.com/rl/Downloads/SongsMP3/WeArePilgrims.mp3
Glenys Love’s passion for helping refugees shone through tonight. In 2013 under the leadership of Rev David Busch, Glenys was one of a small group of people forming Redlands 4 Refugees (R4R). Glenys shared the journey of helping to settle Fariba and her family into the Redlands and after 13 long years as refugees, residency was granted to this family. Such an emotional journey on both side, leading to strong friendships, sharing and encouraging faith (including a baptism...very special time!). But we were also reminded that the journey doesn’t always result in a happy ending with families being deported to be settled in yet another country.
Kylie Colville, convenor of Redlands ReSet (Refugee Settlement)...and Glenys and David’s daughter, shared where her motivation for helping refugees has come from and it has a strong link to faith! Please have a read of Luke 4:16-21. Caring for refugees is reflected in these versus from Luke. As followers of Jesus we need to be active in helping....sharing the good news, helping release those in captivity, helping to heal the sick, freedom to the oppressed, caring for and feeding those in need.
Redlands ReSet is a local ‘Community Supporter Group’, set up to support one refugee family as part of the Community Refugee Integration and Settlement Program (Australian Government initiative to help settle 1,500 refugees). The group is made up of a convenor (Kylie) plus a minimum of five individual households that have committed to help settle a family in the Redlands over the next 12 months (from day of arrival in Australia). In the last two Newsletters you would have read about the need for an initial $7,500 plus a home for this family before ‘matching’ with a family even occurred. Well, this family is on the way...the initial funds have been raised and a house found (much praise to God and to you for your support!!
ReSet’s role doesn’t stop there though...over the next 12 months, this group (***with your support nudge nudge***) will be helping with a range of activities... meeting the family at the airport and taking them to their new home, helping to register the family for government support, such as Medicare and Centrelink, providing initial food supplies and the first few weeks of money, opening bank accounts, linking with employment services, accessing education (schools/TAFE) and medical support (finding a doctor, dentist), attending appointments and helping with cultural and faith connections. This is not only LIFE CHANGING for the family but also for the Community! Imagine if every 2nd church was involved!!
Thought about what you’d take...listen to ‘What They Took With Them’. Video link button at end (see below).
Thank you to Lyn & Darryl Jackson and Glenys & David Love for the absolute passion you have for our Church and for helping Refugees!
What can you do?? See below for an update from ReSet & how you can help♥.
ReSet is expecting its first refugee family in early September. The family, from Syria, consists of parents and four children; a young adult son, a teenaged son, and two younger daughters.
We have found a rental property at Wellington Point. It is now furnished and equipped with kitchen items, linen, and appliances.
We are very grateful for the financial and material support we have received, from individuals and groups. Several service clubs have offered to fund aspects of the children’s education; the Salvation Army (in addition to providing supplementary rental assistance) and St Vinnies have offered access to their charity shops for clothes and other necessities. R4R have provided volunteer time and some furniture.
A Prayer for Refugees
A Moment for Grace
God of our Wandering Ancestors,
We have always known
That your heart is with the refugee:
That you were born on earth
Into a family of refugees
Fleeing violence in their homeland,
Gathering up their precious child
And taking shelter in an alien land.
Their cry, your cry, resounds through the ages:
“Will you let me in?”
Give us hearts that break open
When our brothers and sisters turn to us with that same cry.
Then surely all these things will follow:
Ears will no longer turn deaf to their voices.
Eyes will see a moment for grace instead of threat.
Tongues will not be silent but will cry out on their behalf;
And hands will reach out—
Working for peace in their homeland;
Working for justice in the lands where they seek safety.
Lord, protect all refugees in their travels:
May they find a friend in me
And so make me worthy
Of the refuge I have found in you.
A Prayer by the Catholic Relief Services for Refugees (adapted)