Remembering, Reaffirming and Reinvigorating Our Response to Refugees

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The world is facing its largest humanitarian crisis since 1945. An estimated 20 million people are living on the brink of starvation in South Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, and Nigeria. At the same time, violence and civil wars across the globe have led to the largest numbers of refugees in recent history.

In the face of these needs, recognizing the exceptional ministry capabilities of the Christian Reformed Church and acknowledging the past commitments of the CRCNA...now is the time to act.

These two paragraphs introduced a report that Synod 2017 acted upon. Synod asked all of us together to remember, reaffirm, and reinvigorate our denomination’s commitment to a comprehensive and integral response to the hungry, poor, and rejected in our world and in our own nations.

From those estranged from God and filled with pride, from those hungry to those without drinking water, from those struggling in poverty to those seeking refuge due to war or disaster, the world is full of hurt and brokenness. Yet, as Our World Belongs to God states, “God holds this world with fierce love.” These three Rs represent a significant and broad recommitment for all of us, recommitment in obedience to God and through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Nesting these three Rs in faith, it is, nevertheless, challenging to know where to begin. Let me suggest we begin by looking in the rearview mirror—looking at what the CRC has done and is doing in caring for just one of these concerns: refugees.

Over the course of two weeks, we shared stories of Christian Reformed churches and individuals across the United States and Canada who have opened their hearts and homes to those fleeing from war and persecution. Use these links to read a few:

I trust your hearts will be touched by these stories that you will respond in two ways: first, that you would join all of your brothers and sisters in voicing gratitude to God for what he has accomplished through the CRC in years past; second, that you would join in synod’s call to recommit to the important work of caring for refugees as well as in the other areas identified.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (Matt. 25:40)

—Steve Timmermans

Executive director, the Christian Reformed Church in North America

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