ODJ: Offering Refuge and Hope

April 23, 2017 

READ: Isaiah 16:1-4 

Let our refugees stay among you. Hide them from our enemies until the terror is past (v.4).

My friends Shelah and Jade Acker are the founders and directors of Refuge and Hope, a faith-based ministry serving the urban refugee community in Kampala, Uganda.

One weekend, Refuge and Hope hosted a 7K “Race for Refugees” in Uganda to educate participants about what refugees face when they’re forced from their homes, communities and countries. My thirteen year old son participated and joined four friends who became his ‘family’ for the event. They had to work together to complete an obstacle course that included physical and mental challenges designed to represent hardships refugees face in real life when forced to seek safety and shelter in another country.

Through the event, my son and his event ‘family’ gained a greater understanding of how Isaiah 16:2-4 reflects the loss and suffering experienced by refugees today.

When people are forced from their communities, they become like the women of Moab who were “left like homeless birds” (v.2). In this state of despondency, refugees are vulnerable. “Help us,” they cry. “Defend us against our enemies. Protect us from their relentless attack. Do not betray us now that we have escaped” (v.3). “Let our refugees stay among you,” they ask of those able to offer them refuge and hope, “Hide them from our enemies until the terror is past” (v.4). For many years, my friends have been coming alongside refugees and helping them to know that “God is [their] refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

Whether through giving or prayer support, how can we help meet the needs of refugees, and help them know God is their refuge?

—Roxanne Robbins

365-day plan: 2 Kings 2:1-12

When war and tragedies force people to flee, they often enter foreign lands where they have no citizenship rights. Though citizenship can be stripped from us on earth, what does Philippians 3:20 say about the citizenship of followers of Christ? 
Reread Isaiah 16:3. How can you practically and prayerfully support refugees?