Word is, today or tomorrow Trump will sign executive orders to deny refugees entry into the US, take action to eliminate sanctuary cities, and begin directing resources to building a wall. This is upsetting to those of us who believe we are called to care for the poor, widow, orphan, and immigrant. The bad news is, we can't do anything to stop an executive order.
The good news is, there is plenty we can do in our communities: to support those who feel threatened, to provide resources, and to get to know these people who also call our cities home. Now is the time for concrete action. Here are a few things I am doing in my community, but they apply to anyone, anywhere who wants to respond in radical love. May we NEVER grow weary of doing good.
* World Relief runs an amazing program in Nashville dedicated to helping immigrant and refugee youth to make sure they don't fall through the cracks. Watching these kids work through tasks that would stump most American middle and high schoolers is inspiring (writing an essay in French, anyone?!) ... and hearing their stories and seeing their willingness to share their experience with you is truly moving.
* If you are in Nashville, join me for this fundraiser for Syrian refugees in the area next weekend. Learn more about their culture and challenges. If you're not in the area, there are plenty of similar local organizations doing good work with refugees in most cities. Do some research and get involved!
* Similarly, Middle Tennessee Refugee Helpers is a like-minded organization that frequently posts needs of immigrant and refugee families on their Facebook page. Even if you're not local, you can sometimes help out by ordering and sending simple items they might need to help furnish a home for a new family, or send a child to school with the necessary supplies. However, getting involved in your community is always best, and there are likely many opportunities to do so!
* My local denomination is putting together a network of sanctuary churches that vow to protect undocumented immigrants from any forth-coming crackdown. My seminary has also declared themselves to be a sanctuary school, not requiring immigration documentation for admission. Find out what your church or school is doing, or lead a movement to become a safe space.
These are just a few off the top of my head this morning, and I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas.
::and still we rise, friends::