4 million Syrian refugees, half of them children, are trying to survive.  4 years of complicated war between the government, secular fighters, ISIS, ethnic groups . . . have left 220,000 people dead, 7 million people inside of Syria displaced, and 4 million on the run outside of the country.   Wherever those 4 million people are, they are now foreigners.

Take a moment to describe (out loud) the adults and kids you see in the picture below. Screenshot 2015-10-01 10.40.07

As a follower of Jesus who lives 6,000 miles from the people in this picture, how do you feel about how you have responded to their need?  Do you think that followers of Jesus who live so far away should do something to meet their needs?  Is there anything Christians can do to meet their needs?

While you are weighing these questions in your mind, would you prayerfully consider God’s heart for foreigners?

God loves every person on this planet, and they are all created in his image (Genesis 1:27).  God inspired the Jewish people to love foreigners as themselves, reminding them they used to be foreigners in Egypt (Leviticus 19:34).   He also commanded them to provide foreigners food (Lev. 23:22) , to treat them fairly (Deuteronomy 24:14-15) to give them justice (Deu. 24:17), even to teach them God’s law (Deu. 31:12-13).  

Look back at the picture above, and remember Jesus’ words about the people He will separate from His true followers:

“I was a stranger, and you did not invite me in”
[the Greek word for “stranger” is xenos, which can also be translated “foreigner”]
(Matthew 25:43)

Instead of feeling guilty that you haven’t done anything yet, can you imagine yourself responding in some way to these Syrians who are now “foreigners”? Literally stop reading, and imagine it for 20 seconds.

If you live in Palm Beach County, and you are ready to make a decision right now to do something, we have something you can do.  Grace Fellowship is joining with Christ Fellowship and Gleaning for the World to collect the following items for Syrian refugees:

Shampoo, Soap, Toothpaste, Toothbrush, Diapers, Baby Wipes, Red or Green Lentils

We bought one of each of these items for a total of $20 a few days ago.  If you don’t have $20 to spare, you can probably afford to buy one of these items and bring it to Grace Fellowship or Christ Fellowship by Sunday, October 4th!

If you are deciding to do something, will you encourage everyone else and “share your thoughts” below?

Take Heart Update

The Take Heart event was a success!  Our goal was to lead every person in attedance to take a specific step toward children in need.  Once the movie and the presentations concluded, nearly every person of the 70+ in attendance went to talk to at least one of the representatives (from Place of Hope, Joanna’s Cottage, First Care, One Child, Wholehearted Orphanage, Rescue Upstream).

Yesterday we heard that 4 families attended a foster care orientation meeting, and 3 families have signed up for MAPP classes to become foster care parents!

What can you do if you missed the event?  Contact us and we will be glad to connect you with one of our partners listed above.

And . . . here’s a great idea if you are part of a church:  Grace Fellowship is partnering with the Children’s Home Society to “adopt” a child in the foster care system.  Pictures of the child will be displayed in the church lobby, and the congregation will be given practical ways to love the child until the child finds their forever family.  If your church is interested in “adopting” a child, contact us and we’ll connect you with Children’s Home Society.

Thank you for Joining God’s Mission!

Take Heart

1200.  That is the number of children in the Foster Care system in Palm Beach County.  We want to help you, that’s right, you, take a step toward these and other children who are so close to God’s heart.  We know that most of you can’t foster a kid next week, but you can do something.  We can all do something.

We are inviting you to Take Heart, an event at Grace Fellowship on Saturday, September 19th at 6:00pm.  We will watch a powerful documentary, The Dropbox, which will move our hearts toward children who are in need.   Then we will hear six of our friends, each representing a different organization, offer specific and practical ways you can serve children.  It’s all about Joining God’s Mission.  Childcare is provided.

Take Heart