Last night, World Relief’s national agency announced a decision to close five of their offices around the country due to a policy that will reduce refugee resettlements in the United States. The press release, which can be viewed in its entirety here, also announces that 140 staff members will be laid off around the country. Christ Church is blessed to partner with World Relief’s Memphis office, which will remain open, and echoes its commitment to serve refugees and international residents in Memphis. We believe that Memphis is a better city and community because of the contributions that refugees have made and will continue to make. Together, we must respond to this news with prayer for all parties, a realization of the Church’s potential and giving our lives to Christ’s call of bringing the Gospel to all nations.
We commit to prayer for all involved. In light of these changes, our first action must be prayer. We pray for the World Relief staff, both for the 140 men and women around the country who have lost their jobs, and those who are continuing their work of standing for the vulnerable at World Relief. We pray for refugees who are currently settled in our country and the rest of the 21.3 million who are resettled elsewhere. We pray for President Trump and his administration for wisdom in this situation, as well as for the policymakers in Washington D.C. who are lobbying against the funding cuts. We must never forget the mountain-moving power of prayer when times seem most uncertain.
We see the potential of the Church to rise up. World Relief Memphis Director PJ Moore encourages us here, stating, “We believe that there exists incredible potential for the Church to awaken and take on more responsibility for the love, care, protection and Christian witness to the vulnerable refugees and immigrants in our city, including those God will yet bring.” At Christ Church, we maintain our commitment to standing with World Relief and refugees they are serving in the city of Memphis. Our church’s mission to glorify God as we make, mature and mobilize disciples and our calling to love Jesus and love like Jesus will be hindered by not seeing, serving and standing with the vulnerable in our city and around the world.
We give to God what belongs to God. In Matthew 22, Jesus is confronted by the Pharisees and questioned about the necessity of paying taxes to Caesar. He then teaches us that we are to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to give to God what is God’s. While the coin bears Caesar’s image, we are made in the image of God. Our very lives are to be given in service to building the Kingdom. As Christ followers, we must never forget this charge from Christ to go, to realize that as image bearers of God we bear the responsibility of representing Him in this world. Our great commission to reach the lost will never be diminished, changed, or halted by an earthly kingdom. To personally support World Relief during this time, Give Here, or to get involved in the lives of refugees in the city, visit World Relief’s website.
Do you have more questions about serving refugees in Memphis? Take a look at our previous post, Four Ways for the Church in Memphis to Respond to the Refugee Situation, for more information, or contact Grant Caldwell.