In the days since the tragic fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, thousands of Afghans have fled the only home they’ve ever known to seek safety in other countries. In the coming weeks, some of these hurting families may arrive in the United States, searching for community and a new place to call home.
Vice President of Send Relief’s North America Ministry, Josh Benton commented, “As Christians, we are called to share the gospel with the nations. Sometimes, that means going around the world. Other times, that means going around the block. Right now, God is bringing the nations to us. Send Relief is focused on helping the church be prepared.”
One way that Send Relief is helping during this crisis is by partnering with trusted organizations like World Relief (a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to serving the world’s most vulnerable) to ensure that there are welcoming communities waiting to embrace these hurting families after they relocate.
Benton further explained, “The crisis in Afghanistan has created an opportunity for the church in the United States to follow the example of Jesus and serve others with kingdom-centered compassion. We will pray for Afghans being resettled and for the church to be mobilized. We will learn about the resettlement process and practical steps the church can take to share the love of Christ with those entering our communities.”
World Relief’s U.S. Director of Church Mobilization and Advocacy, Matthew Soerens, added, “As Afghans fleeing from the Taliban begin to arrive in significant numbers in communities throughout the United States, our prayer is that local churches would step up to welcome them as new neighbors whom our faith compels us to love. World Relief has been partnering with local churches – including many Southern Baptist congregations – to welcome and serve refugees for decades, and we’re excited for the opportunity to partner again in light of the current situation, which presents both a challenge and a remarkable opportunity.”
This is a moment that the Church can lean into like no other. The arrival of Afghan families offers Christ-followers a unique opportunity to minister to the nations right from our own neighborhoods! As we seek to help meet both the physical and spiritual needs of Afghans arriving in America, it is important to keep in mind that these families have just undergone intense trauma that has no place being politicized or intellectualized. They are the worn and weary travelers we are commanded to love in Leviticus 19:34, “The alien who resides with you shall be to you as the citizen among you; you shall love the alien as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God” and Hebrews 13:2, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
“Our deepest desire is that local churches would view world events not through the lens of politics, news stations or social media but through the lens of scripture, and God’s mission,” said James Misner, World Relief’s Senior Vice President of Strategic Engagement. “We could not be more thrilled to partner with the country’s largest Protestant denomination, to open scripture together, to explore what God might be doing together and to talk about how we, as followers of Jesus, can extend His love and compassion to Afghans and other refugees and immigrants in vulnerable situations,” he added.