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Reaching Refugees
Mission Trips for Ministerial Spouses/Families

“I want to become more involved in this ministry!”  The voice on the other end of the line was full of enthusiasm.  “This is the answer to our Laodicean condition!”  The caller went on to describe the transformation and unity among the church members since their church began reaching out to refugees.

As ministerial spouses, we have many opportunities to minister to our members, but there is something refreshing about reaching out to those less fortunate than we are, and some of the most least fortunate and most appreciative people whose lives we can touch are refugees.

While the Bible does not use the word “refugee”, many of the key characters were refugees.  In fact, even Jesus was a refugee.  Much of the Bible describes God’s care for a group of refugees!

A careful look at the Bible reveals God’s love and care for refugees, and a careful look at the inspired writings reveal the key role refugees and other foreign born people will have in rapidly spreading the gospel to the world.

    “. . . if we were quick in discerning the opening providences of God, we should be able to see in the multiplying opportunities to reach many foreigners in America a divinely appointed means of rapidly extending the third angel's message into all the nations of earth. God in His providence has brought men to our very doors and thrust them, as it were, into our arms, that they might learn the truth, and be qualified to do a work we could not do in getting the light before men of other tongues.--Review and Herald, Oct. 29, 1914. (Emphasis supplied.)

Our enemy knows how effective refugees can be in reaching the unreached people groups with the gospel, both here and abroad, once they discover a saving relationship with Jesus, and he is doing all he can to prejudice God’s people against refugees and their needs, and cause us to fear the very people He wants us to touch with His love.  “But God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

We are assured in Romans 10 that “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” But challenges us to action by confronting us with some questions: “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed?  And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?”

Research shows that the highest numbers of refugees are coming from some of the least reached, and most difficult-to-reach countries.  God is turning the curse of the political turmoil in these countries into a blessing.  Many of the thinking people from these countries are fleeing from these countries with the least religious freedoms.  Anthropologists call it “brain drain”, which is our “brain gain” when they arrive here.  They are seeking safety, and it is God’s plan to do more for them than they could ask or think, and give them the gift of eternal safety – salvation.

He is bringing them all the way from their home countries, right here among us, so that we who know the message of salvation can share it with them.  Are you game?

Two upcoming events will give you (ministerial spouses/families) the opportunity to personally reach out to refugees that God has sent here for us to reach with the gospel.

“Your Best Pathways to Health” is scheduled to hold their next mega clinic April 27-29 in the U.S. city with the most refugees – Los Angeles. Plans are already underway to help the refugee groups in the area to be aware of this opportunity for health care, and to arrange for them to have access to this opportunity, and translation in their languages, as well as follow-up by Seventh-day Adventists who speak their languages, but volunteers are needed to help make this a meaningful experience for them.  For more information on how you can be involved in helping Pathways reach refugees, contact Terri Saelee terrisaelee@nadadventist.org or Cynthia Nguyen cllnguyen@sbcglobal.net  

Another mission trip for ministerial spouses is being planned for the spring of 2017 in Clarkston, GA, a suburb of Atlanta that has been named the most diverse square mile in the United States, where refugees from many countries are packed together in crowded apartment complexes.  This mission trip will provide a cultural experience that you will not soon forget.  Stay tuned for updates in upcoming newsletters.

Please pray that God will connect us with the refugees who are open and seeking for a relationship with the Creator God, and the gift of eternal life.

Terri Saelee, is the Coordinator of NAD Refugee & Immigrant Ministries
and is a pastor’s wife and mother living in Wisconsin.