I received some interesting responses to my most recent Blog having to do with Christ’s passion for the hungry and homeless, etc. That’s worthy of a bit more consideration here. We are so preoccupied with the corona virus that it is sometimes difficult to see beyond to the other human tragedies that are so heart-breaking in the world. The corona virus came inescapably to our doorstep and so disturbed all our securities, such that we couldn’t escape it. We speak of its victims in terms of hundreds of thousands of victims.

That makes it much easier to overlook the victims of violence and destructive regimes that have produced over seventy million homeless refugees, and untold numbers of victims of injustice that abound even on our own doorstep, and due to the present policies of our own government. Even though I/we may not be in personal contact with such victims, does that mean that I am absolved from any responsibility for them?

The themes of justice and righteousness permeate the Biblical documents. Doing what is right and what is just to “the least of these” belongs to all of us who bear the name of Jesus Christ. I have been asked by some respondents to suggest some ways to realistically bring tangible assistance to the refugees, the homeless, the victims of injustice and human tragedy. I live comfortably here in an urban suburb, secure (relatively), well-fed, and with a sufficient income, … but I bear responsibility to do what I am able, to all of those in the world who have no security and little hope. To that end I have researched which agencies are the best managed and the most efficient (I look for low overhead) in providing real aid to those victims, so here are my personal recommendations:

  • The United Nations High Commission on Refugees is on the scene with the practical necessities that those who have no other source, and is highly regarded.
  • The International Rescue Committee (founded in WW II by Albert Einstein to assist the Jewish victims, and has grown in scope and stature over time).
  • Doctors Without Borders, which is one of the most effective medical agencies in rapid response to disasters, having resources to make immediate medical help available in crisis areas.
  • Southern Poverty Law Center is a justice mission which becomes a legal advocate for refugees in this country who have no other recourse to legal help.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union, again, a justice resource for the “strangers with our gates. Access to legal help is critical to these refugees in our own country.
  • Amnesty International, likewise. The threat of being deported back to the hazardous scene from which they fled is a nightmare to these strangers within our gates.

Locally, there are often resources for refugees, those agencies that can provide furniture and housewares to those newly arrived. There are also food banks worthy of our support, who are a major resource. … Just be alert to the human crisis that is so much larger, but less in the news, than the very real pandemic we are living through.

I hope that these suggestions may help. “Blessed are those who hunger for what is right.”

About rthenderson

Sixty years a pastor-teacher within the Presbyterian Church. Author of several books, the latest of which are a trilogy on missional ecclesiology: ENCHANTED COMMUNITY: JOURNEY INTO THE MYSTERY OF THE CHURCH, then, REFOUNDING THE CHURCH FROM THE UNDERSIDE, then THE CHURCH AND THE RELENTLESS DARKNESS. Previous to this trilogy was A DOOR OF HOPE: SPIRITUAL CONFLICT IN PASTORAL MINISTRY, and SUBVERSIVE JESUS, RADICAL FAITH. I am a native of West Palm Beach, Florida, a graduate of Davidson College, then of Columbia and Westminster Theological Seminaries.
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