Jesus Is A Refugee (poem) reposted

See the  mother on the journey, tiny baby in her arms,
Running from the soldiers who’ve come to rape and kill
She’s tired from the running, desperate, hungry, full of fear—
How can she know God loves her, and that He walks beside her there?

He is there beside her in the dark and in the cold.
He knows what she is feeling, in the Bible it is told
That He was once a refugee. His parents ran to save His life
From the soldiers sent to kill him in Herod’s infanticide.

The way that God has chosen to loose the bands of wickedness
To give bread to the hungry and to help free the oppressed
Calls us to walk beside her in our prayers and in our hearts:
As the body of Christ, the servant king, it makes her burden ours.

But words and prayers are not enough, no matter how well spoken
God’s love requires our presence so He can walk beside His children.
Even though we’re broken, we are His feet and hands.
We stand in need of grace to obey His commands.

Though she sits in darkness, He came to be the light.
Though she now is hungry, He is the bread of life.
Though we turn aside sometimes or don’t know what to do,
We are all called in some way to help her make it through.

He chose to entrust us with His reputation
And to make us His body throughout every nation
As a king become baby, He risked everything
Calling us to embody the love that He brings….

I was hungry and you gave me bread
Thirsty and you gave me drink
A stranger and you took me in
In prison and you came to me….”
Lord, when did this happen?
His answer is quite clear
“When you did it for the least of these
It was for me, for I am there….

Teresa Norman March 2001

 

The View from the Front

This article yesterday in the Seattle times tells about the struggle refugees are having making ends meet in the recession economy and how the budget cuts are impacting them here in Washington State.  I took some time to read the comments that followed the article, and was made aware of how great some of the hostility is that people hold towards not just illegal immigrants, but also towards those our government has invited to be here.  While I understand financial frustation, and fear that your piece of an ever-shrinking pie will somehow disappear, I am also aware that my friends who are refugees have faced things beyond my comprehension.  The link here is to an article from the Bangkok Post, written by a friend of a friend, highlighting the situation these folks needed a refuge from.

Global Day of Prayer for Burma – March 14, 2009

The Global Day of Prayer for Burma is an annual event initiated in 1997 by Christians Concerned for Burma at the request of Burma’s democracy leader, Nobel Peace Prize recipient Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.  Next Sunday, churches around the world are urged to pray for Burma during their services.  See the following link for details:

http://www.prayforburma.org/IDX/Prayer/Day_of_Prayer/2010/GDOP%202010.pdf

For Seattle area runners/walkers, the Run for Relief (a fundraiser for relief efforts in Burma) will take place next Sunday in Gig Harbor….See following link for details:  http://www.chapelhillpc.org/our-calendars-mainmenu-17/special-events-mainmenu-131.html

More Families Displaced by Burma Army

We just got an email this morning saying another 33 families (204 people) have been forced from their villages in Burma and are moving to a safer location (safer, not SAFE) near the border of Thailand.   The place they are fleeing to has been burned down by the Burma army several times in the past.  Their situation  is a direct result of the continued oppression of the Burma Army, which has destroyed over 3,300 villages in the last 10 years.  If the world were just, fair, or remotely reasonable, it would be the generals on trial and Aung San Suu Kyi and the people of Burma would be free.  Instead, she faces prison, and they continue driving families from their homes and taking or destroying the little they own.

“U.S. Good, Burma Not Good…”

It’s amazing what can be communicated with limited English.  I sat with a Burmese friend tonight practicing English and looking at a map of Burma and trying to ask what part he was from.  He pointed to Rangoon and said, “Good.”  Then he pointed to the Chin, Karen and other ethnic areas and said, “Not good,” then pantomined people shooting at each other, and trying to eat while looking over your shoulder ready to flee. “U.S. good.  Burma not good.” 

I know the political issues are “complicated” and there is debate over the best ways accomplish the goal of democracy, freedom, and functioning legal government in Burma and life without fear for the people who live there.   There is debate among some here over whether refugee resettlement is a good idea, or should even be happening with the economic challenges our country currently faces.  That’s someone else’s post.  For me, I hope I don’t forget my friend’s statement, or what he so effectively acted out.  It frames the debate completely out of the theoretical, philosophical, political arena.  This is a human thing.