Kia ora all
Most of us are aware of the groundswell of public concern about the current refugee crisis in Europe. Thousands of people fleeing war torn Syria, many of whom are families with small children.
There are times in history when we are asked to respond in a unique way, and this is one of them. We don’t get much time to ponder the complexities of the issues and pontificate about comparisons of needs and responses.. We just get asked… “Will you help??!!”
The churches are uniquely placed to put their hands up, as they have support systems that no other group has. This isn’t the first time. When families were fleeing war torn Vietnam the churches, including many Baptist churches, put their hands up and did an amazing job of sponsoring and supporting people to come and live amongst them and be adopted as part of a new family. Churches found them homes, clothing, household goods and even jobs. Times may be tight, but we still have resources in all these things that are quite superior to any other grouping.
The Anglicans and Catholics have already put their hands up to take significant numbers of people, and the Baptists are being asked if we are on board with this move.
What we are asking you and your faith community, is whether you will sponsor one family to come and live amongst you and be supported by you.
TEAR fund are resourcing this move from the churches, and will support practically any church that puts its hand up. I don’t know exactly what that support will look like, but we would need these groups with expertise to help us to do this.
You don’t have to know now where they will live or how you can support them, we just need to know if your church is willing to sponsor a family in this way. This doesn’t even mean the government will accept the offer and families will not arrive quickly, but we are needing to respond in regard to our intention.
We need to hear back from you URGENTLY, so we can respond to this question that is being asked of us. Please email us the number of families/individuals your church family is willing to sponsor. Please put in your church newsletter this Sunday for an immediate response.
Thank you for considering this. It is an amazing opportunity for the Christian community to open its arms to those of different faith and culture.
Great to see various bubbles of response from individuals and groups of concerned people. We are asking Pastors to indicate if their faith community would be open to supporting a family . We have no idea if churches are going to be asked to actually do that, but we are uniquely placed as groups to be able to take people into our homes and hearts. We have done it before with the refugees from Vietnam and it was very successful.
Let us know if you need any more information.
Below is a letter from Craig Vernal (National Leader)l:
9 September 2015