Who is hosting refugees?
Turkey (3.6m), Colombia (1.8m), Pakistan (1.4m), Uganda (1.4m), Germany (1.1m), Sudan (1.1m), Iran (1m), Lebanon (916,000), Bangladesh (855,000) and Ethiopia (733,000). *Source
Be silent for a moment and consider:
What is your perception of the above countries?
What is that perception based upon?
What do you actually know about them?
Much is made of the fact that there was “no room at the inn” for Mary and Joseph. In our Western mindset we sometimes imagine a crotchety landlord barring the doors of some low-rent motel and telling the expectant couple to get lost.
But hospitality in the Middle East was, and still is, serious business. If Mary and Joseph were turned away from the inn, there really was no room at the inn. So, they were given another space to rest and to deliver their baby, because they would not be left without hospitality of any kind.
Hospitality in the West has often become a formal, professionalised thing. It puts us in mind of dinner parties or Air BnB’s. Hospitality to the poor has been almost entirely delegated to social agencies and government-funded shelters. Our homes are normally seen, even within the Church, as private places, safe and sacred spaces for us and only a few selected other people with whom we are comfortable. Thank God that is not hospitality the world over.
This is not to say that refugees are all being housed in people’s homes throughout Turkey, Pakistan, Uganda, etc…There are far too many people for that, in part because other nations have closed their borders. When a country refuses to receive refugees it does not make the problem of offering hospitality go away, it just transfers the responsibility to another country. As we can see in the list above, for the most part that responsibility has been transferred to some of the poorest nations in the world.
We can, and must, do a better job of making room in the inn.
Read: Luke 2:4-12
Pray: Get out the map again, then find and pray for each of these nations in turn: Turkey, Colombia, Pakistan, Uganda, Germany, Sudan, Iran, Lebanon, Bangladesh and Ethiopia.
Pray for IAFR Canada's partner, Beirut Nazarene Church, as they respond to the needs of forcibly displaced people in their region.
Thank God for how they have hosted refugees, and pray for wisdom, provision, and peace in their land.
Then pray that other nations would step up to receive the blessing of hosting as well.
Our vision is to help people survive and recover from forced displacement. We do this together with the church, both globally, and locally in Canada.