Refugee Highway Partnership

Last week I joined hundreds of people at a conference for the Refugee Highway Partnership of North America. RHPNA is one of five Refugee Highway groups around the world who are “helping the church seek the welfare of the world’s 65 million forcibly displaced people.” Other chapters are located in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and South Asia. This roundtable event consisted of plenary talks, breakout discussions, and networking opportunities. I learned a lot, and grew in my passion for the many hurting families from distant lands who have ended up in our city.

I learned a lot, and grew in my passion for the many hurting families from distant lands who have ended up in our city.

Heroes

One of my biggest fears coming back “home” to America after living away for 10 years, was that I would grow complacent. I feared that I would come to idolize comfort, the American Dream, a retirement, and even my own family. At the Refugee Highway Partnership roundtable, I shook hands with so many people who have turned their backs on these idols in search of grace-filled lives. I am happy to model my life after these heroes. Even though it is challenging in America, it is possible to live a life of sacrificial love.

I feared that I would come to idolize comfort, the American Dream, a retirement, and even my own family. At this conference, I shook hands with so many people who have turned their backs on these idols in search of grace-filled lives.

Not Alone

Refugee Highway Partnership plenary session

Refugee Highway Partnership plenary session

I was also very encouraged by coming into contact with so many like-minded people. I am not alone, and I need to be frequently reminded of this fact. You need to know that there are scores of individuals and organizations in our country who sacrificially serve refugees. These people aren’t the loudest, most abrasive ones. They’re the quiet ones who serve out of love, because they were loved first. They know that real love does not have conditions. They know that real love is fearless. Real love is sacrificial, and sacrifice is painful. But the pain of sacrifice does not keep these people from continuing onward, because Christ continued onward toward the Cross. We model our lives after Him and serve people without requiring anything in return.

These people aren’t the loudest, most abrasive ones. They’re the quiet ones who serve out of love, because they were loved first. They know that real love does not have conditions. They know that real love is fearless. Real love is sacrificial, and sacrifice is painful. But the pain of sacrifice does not keep these people from continuing onward, because Christ continued onward toward the Cross.

Next Up

Over the coming weeks I plan to dive deeper into the world of refugees and refugee service. What does “refugee” mean, exactly? And how does that differ from immigrant, or asylum-seeker? Why all the fuss now, in 2017? What are the current statistics? What is it actually like to be a refugee in Amarillo?

In the meantime, let me know if you’re interested in joining in an exciting movement in Amarillo. In the next two weeks I will begin holding regular meetings to train interested volunteers, and to discover the interests and abilities among our community. We will develop relationships with one another, pray for one another, and prepare our hearts for the future of our city. Contact me to let me know of your interest. We have two dozen people so far—Don’t miss out.

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