If you think about it, Jesus’ earliest travels weren’t about ministry. Mary and Joseph fled Bethlehem for Egypt; it would be years—and a number of moves—before they returned to Nazareth with their young son Jesus.
Their migration had little to do with ministry . . . and everything to do with survival.
When you consider our Lord was himself a refugee, how can we look away from the global refugee and migration crisis in our world today? Wars, conflict, and persecution around the world have forced more people to flee and seek refuge than at any other time in recorded migration history. Earlier this year, the United Nations reported that nearly sixty million people worldwide had been forcibly displaced . . . that’s one in every 122 human beings now considered a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum.
In response, Ginghamsburg UMC (Tipp City, Ohio) and United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) have teamed up to assist displaced peoples in crisis. This initiative, known as Beyond Bethlehem, will:
- Help people transform where they live, their place of origin
- Provide safe passage along the way for those who move
- Welcome and assist with integration and belonging when refugees reach a destination
- Support those who return home either voluntarily or because of forced deportation
Beyond Bethlehem launched in advance of the Advent season, to remind everyone whose birth we celebrate . . . and who spent his earliest years as a refugee.
How You Can Help
• Use Advance # 3022144
• Download free assets to promote in your church bulletins during Advent and beyond
• Consider different ways your church, your family, and you yourself might give financial resources
And remember, 100% of all financial gifts go directly to help the displaced—not one penny is spent on administrative costs!
When we serve them, we serve him. Learn more here.