The women of the resurrection story are the ones who had a firsthand account of what they experienced, of sadness turning into joy. If we want to learn firsthand how to be a child of the resurrection: Who do we turn to? Who do you know that has a story to tell that will convince us of the power of the resurrection? What immigrants know about being tough and resilient is a perfect place to start. This is why my faith is strengthened as I work to help those whose firsthand accounts of the resurrection come from their own life experiences. We have learned about resurrection from a mother fleeing violence, waking up every morning starting over again in a new place, looking for hope in each new sunrise. After more time than you can imagine--traveling with children across countries on foot, or by train, boat, bus, car, or plane--then finally arriving in the safety of a country ready to receive her family in asylum--she has a story to tell. She knows how to be a child of the resurrection! She is one of the bravest persons alive, but more importantly she has a faith in the resurrection that is profound and deep. She knows more than any of us about finding hope in a new dawn, having the strength to take a long dreadful journey, where every day her reality is only made possible by knowing she's been led forth by the Lord of the resurrection, a Lord who saves and protects those who are devoted and totally in love with Him! Jesus Christ--the name above all names, the leader above all leaders--was sent by God to teach us that the meaning of resurrection is much more real and profound than we want to believe. At the same time, it is more common and ordinary than we let ourselves believe. The meaning of resurrection should not only make sense to those who desperately need it. The meaning of the hope of fairness, reconciliation, rest and comfort must be evident for more than just the ones looking death in the face. It must echo for all of us, not just the ones whose lives are burdened by injustice, fear, hard work, and suffering. What I know is that resurrection is real only if your relationship with God is real. But the sad truth is, most people do not take the time or effort to make their relationship with God “real”. We spend much more time worrying about our political views and personal rights than about our souls and the rightful place God needs to hold in our lives. A vibrant and alive faith is only possible when you know the meaning of the resurrection, that God is alive in you every morning for the rest of eternity! So start now, finding ways to engage in the lives of people who know the resurrection is real. As we keep sharing their stories my hope for you is that your faith will grow; and the works of your own faith will be told as firsthand faith accounts of the resurrection.
THE GUEST HOUSE BLOG
Current statistics on asylum seekers in our area indicate that the guests we hope to assist will be migrants from Central America, specifically people fleeing the troubled nations of the Northern Triangle (sometimes called the Golden Triangle): El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. This week’s “Works” post will be the first of a four-part series on this long-suffering part of the world. The recent surge of migrants from this region has forced governments throughout our hemisphere to re-examine policies, altering trade relations, foreign aid, and immigration enforcement practices. Some actions by the current U.S. administration, including the separation of migrant families and deploying the military to the border, have stirred much controversy. In recent years, on average, about 265,000 people have left the Northern Triangle annually. For 2019, this number is on track to more-than double. Some of these migrants seek asylum in other parts of Latin America or in Europe. But most of them choose to make the dangerous trek northward through Mexico to the United States. Unlike past waves of migrants, in which most have attempted to cross our border illegally without detection, current migrants from the Northern Triangle often surrender to U.S. border patrol agents to claim asylum. The reason for the increase in asylum seekers is as simple as it is horrifying: People of the Northern Triangle are fleeing their homes in increasing numbers because life in their nations has grown increasingly intolerable.
Over the coming weeks the "Works" blog will be taking a closer look at the reasons these Hondurans, Guatemalans and Salvadorans have been forced to become seekers of asylum.
We are human beings; we are children of God Almighty. All of us. We are all equal in God’s eyes. God loves us all the same, and we are all created in God’s image. What more do we need to know to stop our doubts as to whether we should help others? Families are suffering, fleeing from violence or poverty or slavery and then having to deal with all the immigration injustice. How can we bring hope to people who have lost all sense of home? How can we as Christians ignore the needs of people who only want hope in unimaginably desperate situations of hell on earth? If you want to hear of real heroes, stories of genuine strength and faith, just listen to the stories of immigrant mothers. We have been called by a radical Savior, who loves all people like no other and tells us to act and use this love in ways that heal and help others. We are given this hope of love that is more real and more powerful than hate. It is not easy to love others when national leaders tell us to turn against them or to turn them out. Mothers just want a safe home and a place for their children to go to school so they can grow up in dignity and be the valuable human beings God created them to be. Mothers are traveling from country to country with one focus and one plea, to escape death and follow the road to life, to give their children the promise our faith gives us as we all seek life. Deuteronomy 30:19b-20a: “I place before you, Life and Death, Blessing and Curse. Choose life so that you and your children will live. And love God, your God, listening obediently to Him, firmly embracing Him. Oh yes, He is life itself, a long life settled on the soil that God, your God, promised to give your ancestors.” Pray for these strong women and children to complete their journeys, and to one day have peace and a place to call home.