March 15 marked the 6th year anniversary of the conflict that is still raging in Syria. Since then, there have been over 5 million people who have fled the country. Over the years, this refugee crisis has appeared in other countries like Nigeria, South Sudan, and Somalia, among others. Overall, about 11 million people have had to leave their homes to survive. Thousands of these refugees die on their way to safer countries. Many of those who have made it to safety have not been integrated into the society of their new home.
My name is Kristen Jones and I am a second year studying Applied Linguistics. I was oblivious to what was happening with the refugee crisis until recently. This year, I began to pay attention to what people were saying about this world crisis and I was ashamed that I had ignored this incredibly heart-breaking problem. As I learned more about the crisis, my heart broke more and more.
I attended Missions Fest in January and sat in on a couple of seminars that spoke about the refugee crisis. The statistics and stories and experiences were a wake-up call that I desperately needed. This world is hurting, and I was doing nothing.
This semester, I felt like God was gently pushing me to do more with my time. I had a new passion to invest myself in people. And then I heard about TRAC. I joined the team mid-March, and have been abundantly blessed through it. God has given me a love for people that I’ve never met, and has handed me an opportunity to help those who need it. I have learned that as believers, it is our job to notice and care for those who are hurting. Not just because they need it, but also because through our service they can see God’s love. Often the best way to share the gospel with someone is through loving them.
Rather than have a specific job on the TRAC team, I fill in where I am needed. I love listening to people and walking with them through life, and I can’t wait to do this with the refugee family that our team will be sponsoring. I am excited to work with my team to share Christ’s love and compassion for this family.
I encourage you to continue to read about the refugee crisis. Don’t let it be good enough for you to just know that there is one. Learn about it and let the words of people’s stories sink in and register deep in your heart. I implore you, if you are a Christ follower, to learn more about this issue; and when you know more, let God use you to serve those in need. We are each called to follow Christ’s example of caring for those in need.