The local church has a critical role to play in caring for refugees. Loving the stranger is core to our calling as Christians—and it’s part of the church’s DNA. The Bible is full of commands to “love those who are foreigners” among us (Deut. 10:19) and to care for the vulnerable (Matt. 25:40).
Long before the refugee crisis started dominating the news, Christian organizations were partnering with local churches to serve the people affected by this worldwide humanitarian crisis. Many Christians have long been committed to serving refugee populations both here and abroad as extensions of God’s call to pursue justice for the oppressed and to welcome the stranger in our midst.
As a ministry leader with limited time and resources, you fortunately don’t have to start this process from scratch. Christian organizations, researchers, and ministries have been doing this work for decades, and they’re eager to share what they’ve learned with local churches and equip them to take up this call to serve one of the world’s most vulnerable populations. At the Humanitarian Disaster Institute, we have carried out research projects in refugee camps and developed partnerships with various aid and relief organizations. Here are some resources I use in this work that I hope will help you, too.
If you’re looking for a deeper dive into the subject, start with these books.
- Seeking Refuge: On the Shores of the Global Refugee Crisis (Stephen Bauman, Matthew Soerens, and Issam Smeir): In this book, experts from refugee resettlement organization World Relief offer a practical, well-rounded, and well-researched guide to the issue.