This Is Not Our Home

This Is Not Our Home

 

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

Philippians 3:20-21

Where is home?  I’ve thought quite a bit about this lately as I encounter other people’s stories. It can be a loaded question, felt at different depths depending on their situation.

A missionary family moved to southeast Asia a year ago and just moved to a new place within that country. “We just left our house in a very large city and are now in another house in a “smaller” city.  It was hard to say goodbye to the life we knew. We developed quite a few deep friendships, which we are very thankful for.  Currently we are living in temporary housing and trying to get settled in this new city. We often have a hard time answering where our home is.  We never thought of our recent house as “home.”  But leaving it felt a little bit like leaving home. ….. Ultimately, this is not our home.  And if we don’t feel at home in this world, that’s ok.”

Another friend left her home country many years ago and has lived in the U.S. for close to 20 years. I’ve heard her talk about things “back home” in the country of her birth, even though she has not lived there in a long time. As someone who is under Temporary Protective Status, she has to keep renewing that status. She is allowed to work, but she cannot apply for citizenship, and should the TPS be removed, she would have to leave the country. Where is home for her? As a believer, she knows her citizenship is in heaven, but she faces an uncertain future here.

We continue to see images of refugees and internally displaced people who have been violently uprooted from their homes. For many there will be no home to return to. The number of refugees who can come to the U.S. this year is at a record low, and there are special restrictions on refugees from 11 countries. These include many persecuted Christians and others who have fled civil war, torture, and other terrible situations.

How do we respond to these stories?

Pray. Pray for those we know personally, for our missionary families who are serving in difficult places. Pray for refugees and the displaced around the world. Pray for the Church (that includes us!) to respond to their plight and advocate for them. Pray for those in our government who make decisions that so profoundly affect them.

Provide practical support. Though fewer refugees are currently being resettled in the Twin Cities, new families continue to arrive and there are many already here who desire friendship. We are working with Arrive Ministries “Refugee Life Ministries” to build a Hope Church team to come alongside one of these families. 

by Peggy Turnbull

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