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It takes the church in every part of the world working together to address the refugee crisis.  Seeking Refuge, a book by Stephan Bauman, Matthew Soerens,  and Dr Issam Smeir.

More than 130 million people worldwide are forcibly displaced, the majority of whom are women and children, according to the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR. That's roughly 1 in every 70 people worldwide. 

This is a local and global issue needing local and global churches to come together to be part of a welcoming solution.  Imagine what a worldwide glocal (Global-Local) church could do if we aligned in unity and sacrificial love….

Tenth has a vital and vibrant local refugee support model.  We also have some key partnerships with global refugees with more strategic projects developing. 

The Refugee Highway Partnership (RHP) is a group that we have been learning from over the years.  The RHP is an international network of churches, agencies and individuals serving forcibly displaced people. The RHP is creating and sustaining a community that helps facilitate more effective ministry, stimulate strategic initiatives, and envision and equip the church so that refugee ministries are strengthened, and more refugees are served.  

Three things that you can consider doing. 

(1)  Pray for churches and organizations to work together more, sharing resources. 

(2)  Watch the film The Swimmers on Netflix with your family, friends or lifegroup. After watching, discuss the film.  After watching, discuss questions below. 

(3) Stand with local and global refugees.  Email for local and for global. 

Prayer from World Vision: Good Shepherd, no refugee is a stranger to You, and no one is ever far from Your loving care. We pray for You to watch over refugee children and families as they travel to refugee camps or relocate within their country. Shelter their souls and their bodies. Heal the hearts of refugees who have endured unimaginable tragedy and trauma.

The Swimmers Questions

In some ways, this story is very much a personal story about the Mardini sisters and their hopes, dreams, and challenges. It is also, however, a more representative story about refugees. What does this movie reveal about the refugee experience?

Part of the power of this film is that it personalizes the refugee experience and puts the voices of refugees at the forefront of the film. It forces us to ask ourselves what we would do in a similar situation and, more broadly, how we might develop more humane refugee policies.   What would compel you to leave your home? What would you take with you? What might you have to leave behind?  What would you hope for your future?

The image of the thousands and thousands of life jackets on the beach in Greece reveals the scope and scale of the issue. What do you think the responsibility of more stable countries to refugees is or should be? Why might some be resistant to providing aid?  What do you see as a path forward?

The refugees are in a vulnerable position throughout their journey.  What is the responsibility of others towards the refugees? How could citizens, like Sven, and larger entities like the Olympics or the government help to ensure that the refugees have their basic human rights?  What do you feel your personal responsibility is towards refugees?  How could you become a human rights defender for refugees in your community? 

Find more questions and overview from the Director of The Swimmers. 

Photo by Julie Ricard on Unsplash