Helping Unaccompanied Refugee Youth
Why have hope this Christmas? Jesus was a refugee.
Posted by Kaylee K on Wednesday, December 14, 2016
With all the “wrong” going on in this world, it is hard to imagine that any one of us can make things “right”. Watch the news, look at social media, accidentally get pulled into a political conversation at the office, and before you know it you’re lost in a state of ‘how can our world be this dark?’ and ‘what can lil’ ol’ me do about it?’
Believe it or not, that is where the good news dwells. When we look at the millions of people displaced by war, persecution, starvation and other evils this holiday, we actually see a story that goes back throughout history. Jesus, himself, was a refugee as a child. His parents fled with him to Egypt to escape sure death at the hands of Herod (
). But it is in this journey, as well as in the journeys of the refugees in this world, and in our own journeys, that God meets us, looks evil in the face, and overcomes.
Image courtesy of www.tocolor.pics
That, dear friends, is the true story of Christmas. It is the story of hope that has always existed and always will. It is the tale of the ability of one to save all. It is the truth of God’s love for us that not only conquers the evils of this world but also conquers death – forever.
This is the story that emboldens us to befriend refugees along their journeys, enter into their stories and confidently, lovingly share hope and joy. For we all have been, at some point, overwhelmed by evil, undermined by loss, desperately seeking hope. And, especially at Christmas, we are reminded that we were (and are) never alone in this.
God promises hope and a future (
). God came into our world as a helpless baby who grew into a man who died on a cross so that you and us and every refugee across all time would know we are not alone and we are not abandoned. We pray that you can celebrate this good news this Christmas! It is for all of us.
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John and Kaylee Kolditz
Kaylee founded Refugee Connect in 2008. John joined the work in 2011 as we investigated the refugee situation in Europe. But our faith and cross-cultural journeys have been a work-in-progress for many years. Much of this blog reflects that. ************************************************ We met in Austin, TX, while volunteering at a serving event at Gateway Church and have been married since 2002. Marriage, parenting and ministry all require a great deal of intentionality, humility and true reliance on God for strength, wisdom, and grace. It is a journey we are grateful to be on together. Ultimately, what matters to us is building into meaningful relationships in ways that, to the best of our ability and by God's grace, demonstrate the love and hope Jesus freely offers to us all. ************************************************ We bring both business and ministry backgrounds into our current work. John started a business in his 20's and helped build several other businesses. He has also served with churches in a variety of roles including as an assistant pastor, director of community development, and missions board member. Kaylee left her marketing career to become the global missions director for our home church in Austin, TX, then founded a local refugee ministry, and became TEFL certified (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) in order to prepare for our work overseas. We have led short-term teams domestically and internationally, and served with a variety of cross-cultural ministries. In 2008, we sensed a call to build into the church in Europe, which was also around the time when God broke Kaylee’s heart for refugees. Since then, God has continued to weave together this heart for refugees, desire to serve alongside the church, and focus on His call to Europe.
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Unaccompanied Refugee Youth (7)
unaccompanied refugee children