Home is often a word synonymous with peace.
Home is a place of escape from the cruelty of the world, and for many of us, a place where the people we cherish live. Our homes bring comfort after difficult days and stressful situations. Running water and comfortable furniture are very common for us. Not only that, but in our homes, we enjoy family and friends around a table filled with food and conversation. Even when one’s physical home is filled with tension, there is a familiarity to the very walls, rooms, and people that surround our daily life that we can still find rest in that place. In light of this reality, it’s hard to grasp the hopelessness that can find it’s way into the hearts of those who have no home or place to rest.
Yet, only an hour and a half away from us are 10,000 Afghan Evacuees who find themselves in this very situation. Whether they fled due to fear or force, they have found themselves in a strange land surrounded by the unfamiliar. Their physical places of refuge have been lost to war and struggle, and in their place are fears about their present needs and future deliverance. Comforts are few and peace is fleating.
So, why should we care? Why should followers of Christ enter into such a difficult situation, filled with political tensions, cultural differences, and religious confusion?
Simple. We know what it is like to be strangers in a world gone mad.
remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.Ephesians 2:12-13
Born into sin, each of us began life separated from God because of our wickedness (Col 1:21). We stood against the King of Kings in our hearts and minds, and therefore we were alienated from the very one who brings peace and rest (Heb 4).
Our sin made us spiritually homeless. Hopeless.
Yet, the Lord who is rich in mercy and unending kindness pursued us in His grace and called us to Himself. He broke down the gates of our imprisonment, delivering us into a Kingdom where we are no longer strangers but sons and daughters of the Most High God.
That is why we are compelled to do something for the stranger among us, because Jesus did the same for us. He left the comforts of heaven and entered into the midst of brokenness and pain for our benefit. As Paul wrote, “He pursued us in His grace.” Therefore, how can we not bear the grace of God and the gifts that He has given us and seek diligently to love the stranger in our midst?
And by His grace, we pray that those Afghan men and women will no longer be strangers to us but rather brothers and sisters in Christ. May Paul’s message in Ephesians be one we can one day recount to those who currently find themselves separated from the only source of true hope.
And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,Ephesians 2:17-20
If you would like to partner with us to give to the Afghan Evacuees near us, visit the link below.
HBC is currently partnering with other churches in our area to engage the Afghan Evacuees at Fort Pickett. We are taking financial donations to purchase much-needed items for men and women living on the base.