What is the similarity/meeting point between a refugee, a persecuted Christian and a cousin who came to faith?
Let me share 3 seemingly separate stories, and you will see how the family fulcrum weaves all unique circumstances into one.
I have been spending some time researching a bit more on the various refugee crises, sourcing for materials to showcase during our Refugee Conference. Honestly the content can be quite an emotional roller coaster.
As I paused the video I was watching on refugees, I gave myself some time to breathe, some time to reflect. Then I realised that very often we are fed statistics about refugees, but we do not see the families separated. A family unit torn apart by war and violence can’t be captured in statistics or percentages.
In the evening, we had our monthly prayer meeting. This month we focused on the persecuted church. We invited an honoured guest and a long time friend to share with us.
As I stood behind listening to her story, I was reminded of how her abducted husband was separated from her. The thought of having your life partner suddenly kidnapped in broad daylight, unsure when he will return, if he will ever return, is a very painful thought to muse over. Maybe she was preparing to have dinner with him that very evening. How about the children, unsure when they will see their father again?
Following that we had a brother who used to be from a nearby faith share his story. Like many cousins who came to faith, at some point their families find out their decision to follow Christ. They are thrown out of their homes. He was only 17 then. With no house, no money and no family. We have such brothers and sisters in Christ who face these circumstances on our island. Will we avail our comfort plus personal space and be a refuge to them?
Once this brother saw his parents at Bedok interchange. He said ‘hi’ to them, but they pretended not to see him. In his words, ‘I felt it was a slap to my face’. Recently, he received news that his father was suffering from terminal cancer. He went to the hospital ready to bring the good news to his dad, ready to reconcile. His hopes fell apart quickly when his dad opened the conversation with this question, ‘Will you convert back so you can bury me?’
Heartwrenching. Having to choose between one’s family and following Christ.
Most of us have our families knitted together still. Yes, we are all broken, we are all fallen beings, but most of us have a roof over our heads and a family to return to.
These refugees, persecuted Christians and brother who came to faith lost their family. Will we be family to them, just like how God adopted us into His family?
Let us as a family, come together and pray for those suffering and in need of His healing touch.