New Issue of ‘Unfinished’ Magazine Describes On-the-Ground Outreach
NORCROSS, Ga. – As the refugee crisis continues to grow, The Mission Society is taking an in-depth look at the situation’s complexities, examining the issues facing Christians who feel called to help but have misgivings about the process.
In the summer edition of The Mission Society’s magazine, Unfinished, “Rediscovering hospitality: Getting serious about welcoming the stranger,”, the outreach ministry looks at how Christians are responding, while noting that “God is the God Who Helps.”
“As we look to help, many of us are afraid, afraid that we will all be pulled under by the tremendous need,” said Max Wilkins, president and CEO of The Mission Society. “While God doesn’t expect any of us to help everyone in need, I know God has blessed us to be a blessing.
“I know God wants us to care for those who have been – or will be – placed on our doorsteps,” he said, adding that Amnesty International found that 80 percent of the polled people in 27 countries would welcome refugees.
In the magazine, Charlie and Miki Chastain, missionaries in Europe with The Mission Society, describe their efforts to assist the refugees. “A night spent volunteering in a refugee camp breaks through apathy and emotional barriers we put up,” wrote Charlie Chastain. “When you look into the eyes of these individuals and hear their stories, it becomes abundantly clear that these men, women and children are not that different from us.”
But for others, the slow pace of resettlement is a source of frustration. In Spain, few refugees have been allowed in by the national government, despite urging from local officials and nonprofit groups. “I’m sure that God’s heart is sad,” said missionary Laurie Drum in Spain. “People whom He loves are standing at the door, and we cannot open it. With our hands tied, we wait and pray for solutions.”
Jim Ramsay, Vice President for Mission Ministries, also reflected on the appropriate Christian approach. “As Christians, we are to seek the heart of God in the midst of this unfolding story,” he wrote. “How God’s people respond matters not only to the physical and emotional needs of the refugee, but our response also matters in how faithfully we are living into our identity as His people.”
The summer issue of Unfinished also features ethicist and author Christine Pohl, Ph.D., whose article “The Perils of Hospitality,” outlines seven risks to opening our lives to others, particularly to those not like us. It’s an important practice. “A life of hospitality,” she writes, “is basic to what it means to be Jesus’ disciples.” The magazine also tells the experiences of Christians in North America who helped guide refugees through the complexities of Western society and provides practical advice on how to become engaged in assisting refugees through prayer, donation and personal involvement.
The latest issue of Unfinished is available for free at www.themissionsociety.org/unfinished-magazine.
Founded in 1984 in the Wesleyan tradition, The Mission Society (www.themissionsociety.org) exists to mobilize and deploy the body of Christ globally to join Jesus in His mission, especially among the least-reached peoples. The Mission Society recruits, trains and sends Christian missionaries to minister around the world. Its church ministry department provides seminars, workshops and mentoring for congregations in the United States and abroad, helping equip churches for outreach in their communities and worldwide. The Mission Society has 180 missionaries serving in 35 countries.
PHOTO CUTLINE: The latest issue of Unfinished, The Mission Society’s quarterly publication, provides readers with eyewitness accounts of the plight of refugees, including detailed accounts of how to help through prayer, donation and active engagement.
To schedule an interview with a leader with The Mission Society, contact Ty Mays @ 770-256-8710 or [email protected]
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