|Posted by St. Alban's Episcopal Church on September 16, 2021 at 12:30 AM|
Have you ever had to start over in a new country, because your homeland was no longer safe for you? It’s hard for many of us to fathom what that would be like, but it happens daily in many parts of the world.
It happened to Jesus and his parents. According to the Gospel of Matthew, Joseph and Mary had to flee to Egypt with their young son to escape the wrath of Herod, who was threatened by the notion of the baby “King” he heard about from the magi. While Jesus and his mom and dad were eventually able to resettle in their homeland after Herod’s death, I imagine that the experience of being a refugee stayed with them for the rest of their lives. I think Jesus must feel special compassion for refugees, since he was one himself.
Following the fall of Kabul and the evacuation of Afghan friends and allies, an estimated 75,000 Afghans are arriving in the United States to flee retribution or persecution from the Taliban. They are starting over in new communities and rebuilding their lives. They need housing, education, jobs, belongings, and more. Some 500 of these families are expected to make North Carolina home. We expect that some will resettle in the Lake Norman region. The St. Alban’s Outreach Team and the Vestry have already begun to have conversations about how our church might offer support. We have discussed partnering with organizations such as Church World Service, Episcopal Migration Ministries, Galilee Ministries, and Davidson College to assist however we can. As we learn more about how we may be able to serve these families, we will be sure to share this information with you.
In the meantime, I ask that you hold these families in your prayers as they start over in a new land. Please also pray for people around the world who remain in unsafe conditions and are not able to leave.
Loving God, open our eyes, that we may see your Son in the face of those seeking refuge. Open our ears, that we may hear and respond when people cry out in need. Open our hearts, that we may welcome the stranger as we would welcome you. Amen.
Yours in Christ,