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Christianity is a Refugee Story – Kevin Singer

Christianity is a Refugee Story

By Kevin Singer
May 29, 2018

If you are a Christian, you are part of a refugee story. You join the ranks of Abraham, who took a dangerous journey from his homeland of Ur to the land of Canaan (Genesis 12:1), Joseph, who was carried into Egypt after being sold into slavery by his brothers (Genesis 37:25-28), and Moses, who fled to the wilderness of Midian after he took the life of a brutal Egyptian slave master (Exodus 2:11-15). Each of these acknowledged that they were “strangers and exiles on the earth” (Heb. 11:13, ESV). Jesus Himself was at one time refugee in Egypt (Matt. 2:13-15), and the Apostle Paul reminded the Philippians that their citizenship is in heaven (Phil. 3:20).

This isn’t to mention that the entire Biblical narrative of God’s people is one of chronic exile. It began when Adam and Eve were forced to leave the Garden of Eden and face the uncertainties of life outside (Genesis 3:23). Before God delivered the Promised Land to His chosen people, due to famine they arrived as refugees in Egypt (Gen. 47:27). After hundreds of years of slavery, they were liberated by God only to be refugees for another 40 years in the desert (Num. 32:13). Then came exile in Babylon (2 Kings 24:8-16) and exile in Assyria (2 Kings 17:5-6). After the resurrection of Christ, it wasn’t long before the early church was forced to disperse from Jerusalem because of Saul’s oppression and the martyrdom of Stephen (Acts 8:1-4, Acts 11:19). The New Testament contains letters written by James and Peter that are addressed to “the twelve tribes in dispersion” and “to those who are elect exiles of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (James 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1). In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul describes in vivid detail the pains of exile and offers a word of hope:

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Jairo de Oliveira: Refugee Ministry in Columbia, SC

By Jairo de Oliveira

In August 2016 I moved to Columbia, South Carolina, with my family (wife and son) to study at Columbia International University. A few months after our arrival we got an invitation to visit the Arsenal Hill Presbyterian Church. The church had a new pastor, Rev. Robert Turner. Due to his previous ministry experience in Turkey with Iranian and Iraqi refugees, Rev. Turner decided to embrace the refugees in Columbia and invited us to join hands in the ministry.

The church started the refugee ministry on October 30, 2016, embracing 29 Syrians from 4 different families. Later, Iraqi and Congolese refugees were added to the group, raising the number of refugees to over 40 people.

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Love Hopes All Things

By Eric Costanzo
December 20, 2017 (Originally posted by World Relief, re-posted here with permission)

What happens when an affluent, conservative, and mostly white church’s neighborhood is suddenly inundated with hundreds of international people?

That’s what happened to us.

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“Telling a Better Story” (Blog) Submission Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in submitting a guest post to be featured on the Evangelical Immigration Table’s blog, “Telling a Better Story.” Please note the following guidelines as you consider a submission to our blog:

Purpose: The primary purpose of the Evangelical Immigration Table is to encourage evangelical Christians to think about and respond to immigration issues (including, but not limited to, undocumented immigrants, refugees, victims of human trafficking, and other uniquely vulnerable categories of immigrants) in ways consistent with biblical values.

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Introducing “Telling A Better Story,” a blog from the Evangelical Immigration Table

Often the stories we hear about immigrants and immigration can be negative, focused on scary anecdotal situations or on divisive arguments over immigration policy.

As Christians reflecting on the topic of immigration, we have a better story to tell: the story of local churches welcoming, serving, and reaching the immigrants in their communities, of God’s transformative power at work in the lives of newcomers to this country, and of how God is using immigrants to bless and revitalize local churches throughout the U.S.

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