Categories: Pastor's Blog

A Mile (or an Hour) in Their Shoes

During the month of November, we’ll have several opportunities to express our thanksgiving to God for his goodness and love, by focusing on people near and far who find themselves in times of need. As a congregation, we’ll continue the tradition of partnering with Covenant World Relief, as we fill up repurposed soup cans with monetary contributions, and grow in our awareness of global needs and opportunities for the Church to respond with acts of love and compassion.

On November 14, we’ll be partnering with Brookdale Covenant Church to host an immersive learning experience called the Refugee Journey. This interactive simulation (suitable for adults and children in the third grade and up) has been designed by our denomination to provide a glimpse into the lives and reality of refugees. Today, more people have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict and crisis than any other time on record. The Refugee Journey, an initiative of Serve Globally and Covenant World Relief, allows us to learn a piece of the story of what it means to be a refugee and gives us a glimpse into real-life journeys of refugees from Syria, one of the largest refugee-producing countries right now. As you join us at Redeemer on Nov. 14 (6:30-8:00 pm, starting in the sanctuary), you will have the opportunity to:

  1. Become aware of the story of refugees.
  2. Engage with issues of injustice faced by refugees.
  3. Work together to raise funds, to increase awareness, and to get involved in other tangible ways to address the needs of refugees both locally and globally.

We’ll also have the opportunity that evening to hear from James Tang, a Covenant missionary supported by Redeemer who works in Ethiopia with Sudanese refugees. We’ll hear the perspectives from some of our members here at Redeemer who have experienced forced displacement. In all of this, we seek to make a difference in the lives of people created in God’s image, and we hope as well that we would become more like Christ and come to see refugees as brothers and sisters worthy of dignity and respect as we develop new understandings of conflict, displacement, and the lives of other people.

Beyond the value of gaining a deeper understanding of the lives of refugees, this experience will help us grow in our ability to see life from another person’s perspective. This skill will become increasingly important as we seek as a congregation to continue to live into the multi-cultural, intercultural, intergenerational calling and vision that God has given us as a body of believers here at Redeemer. It’s when we listen to one another’s stories that we discover not only opportunities to serve one another and meet real needs, but also opportunities to learn, to appreciate and to more deeply understand. I’m so thankful for God’s grace in leading us in this journey, and for your participation as fellow travelers.

Pastor Ben