By John Jantzi
Shenandoah District executive minister John Jantzi invites us to prayer as our country struggles with issues relating to immigration and refugee resettlement. He writes:
According to the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR), we are witnessing the highest level of displacement of people on record. According to these reports, there are 65.3 million forcibly displaced people around the world. These displacements continue at a rate of 34,000 people per day. These numbers exceed the numbers of displaced persons at the end of World War II.
The numbers are staggering and heartbreaking. Obviously, permanent solutions rest in long-term efforts to resolve violent conflict, establish just and healthy economies and ensure basic necessities of living are available to all.
However, we know as Christians that short of the full coming of the Kingdom, human beings will always create a world filled with struggle and injustice.
Recognizing that refugee and immigrant status is facing increasing pressures and uncertainties here and abroad, we ask members of the Shenandoah District to be in prayer and intercession regarding the following issues related to refugees:
-- Pray for the children and teenagers disproportionately affected by the displacement. Pray that God's grace and protection may surround the innocents in our world. Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.
-- Pray for the outpouring of generosity from Christians the world over. Blessed are the merciful for they shall be shown mercy.
-- Pray that the nations of the world will work together to provide compassionate and just policies which embrace the pain and suffering. Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.
-- Pray for our continued transformation into the image of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
-- This reflection is reprinted with permission from the “Shenandoah Journal,” a publication of the Church of the Brethren’s Shenandoah District.