Advent Day 7: Asylum
“[Worldwide] 3.1 million people had a pending claim for asylum at the end of 2017. 1.9 million new claims for asylum were lodged in 2017. A refugee claimant is an individual seeking international protection and whose claim for refugee status has not yet been determined.” *Source
Be silent for a moment and consider:
Have you ever been in a position where your safety, even your permission to be in a place, is in the hands of someone else? Where they can decide to accept or reject your claim to stay? Where they might not believe that you are in danger? How do you think that would feel? What would you want to say to a person in that situation?
When Mary responded to the angel’s shocking news with the words: “Let it be to me according to your word,” she entered a world of trouble.
The scandal of her unmarried pregnancy threatened both her and the new life inside her womb, and her safety is largely in the hands of Joseph, to whom she was pledged. Joseph, known as a righteous man, has a serious decision to make, with seemingly no good options. He comes up with the best plan he can think of – a quiet divorce - to protect both Mary and his dignity. And though this is a compassionate decision, it is not God’s plan. An angel appears in a dream and tells him, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 1:20)
Refugee claimants, likewise, must entrust their safety and future to someone else. It is certain that many of them long for angelic intervention to help convince the authorities to believe their story, to see the danger they are in, to let them stay.
Read: Matthew 1:18-25
Prayer: Pray for discernment to hear what the Lord wants for refugee claimants coming to your country. Then find out which, if any, organisations in your area are helping asylum-seekers (contact www.iafr.ca if you need assistance). Contact them to ask what you can do to help while refugee claimants are awaiting the decision in their case.
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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.