For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. (Matthew 25:30-36)
Imagine having to leave your country of birth, on foot, because it is no longer safe to stay there? Imagine having to carry with you nothing but painful memories of violence and loss? Millions of individuals, each with a story of loss, are on a desperate journey to seek safety and an opportunity to live with dignity. Many of them have arrived in foreign countries where they are forced to live in the margins of society. They are in need of food, clothes, and shelter. Children are in need of education. Adults are in need of work in order to provide for their families. Yet, even newfound poverty is preferable to the fear and danger experienced in their homeland.
Now, imagine seeing thousands of people arriving in your own community in such desperate need. What would it look like to reach out into the margins to serve in Jesus’ name? In Jordan, local Nazarene churches are doing just that by giving food to those who are hungry, providing water for those who are thirsty, and welcoming those who are strangers.
“By feeding the refugees, we feel we are feeding Jesus himself,” says a Nazarene pastor in Jordan. “In 2012, we started to receive refugees in our location, and we felt it was a great opportunity for us to serve people—to love them, respect them, and serve them.” Another Nazarene pastor in Jordan says, “We cannot be silent when we see people come from their countries with nothing, literally with nothing. Only with the clothes on their back.”
Stories like these remind us that God has called all of his children to go out and serve those in need. We invite you to be part of the Compassion Conference (July 14-16, 2016), where we will learn together what it means to live out compassion in the margins of our communities.