Sunday, December 11th
It seems there’s constant crisis with war, poverty, sickness and natural disaster in our world today. Likely, most of us feel powerless in the face of so much chaos, so we tune out the pain and focus on the near and familiar. However, with refugees here in our own city, it’s harder to ignore the needs that are practically on our doorstep. How can we raise our heads above our own self-interest to see those desperate for us to care?
Work through the following Scriptures and questions on your own, and get together with your running partner, Life Group or friends and family to talk through what you’re learning!
- What stood out to you about the stories of what it’s like to move to Austin as a refugee?
- Read Hebrews 11:13-16. What distracts you most here on earth to live for now instead of for the reality that your real home is in Heaven? What acts of faith would it take to live for our real home?
- Read Matthew 2:1-18. What stands out to you when reading this part of the Christmas story from the perspective that Jesus was a refugee child who had to flee with his family from an evil tyrant?
- Read Ezekiel 22:7, 29-30. What challenges you from this passage? What can you and we do as a community to stand in the gap for the oppressed, the poor, the marginalized and the refugee?
- Read Deuteronomy 26:12. Why do you think God included this instruction for the Israelites? What may hold you back from giving to help those who would be blessed by your generosity? If God asks us to identify with the foreigner because we aren’t in our permanent home yet either, what can you do in the coming weeks, to offer compassion and provision to the refugees living in our own city? See the DIGGING DEEPER section for suggestions.
- Hebrews 11:13-16
- Matthew 2:1-18
- Leviticus 19:10, 34
- Deuteronomy 10:18-19
- Ezekiel 22:7, 29-30
- Deuteronomy 26:12
Refugee Connect — Gateway partners with local organizations who help meet the physical, relational and spiritual needs of refugees right here in Austin! Listed here are some brief descriptions of the different serving opportunities. Learn more and let us know how you want to be involved at GatewayChurch.com/Refugees.
- HOPE CLINIC — Provides high quality healthcare to refugees and other under-served populations. Volunteer opportunities include medical & dental care, administrative & computer skills, hospitality & greeting.
- TUTORING — Provide assistance to refugee children with homework and school projects on Monday nights.
- PAPER MINISTRY — Help fill out all the forms and applications refugees need to get by 2X a month.
- HOST A REFUGEE FAMILY — Assist refugees in acclimating to life here by helping them navigate the bus system and learning how to grocery shop.
- SOS NEEDS LIST — Be a first responder to needs like food, clothing, diapers, furniture, rides and more for refugees by joining our SOS Needs Email List!
- THE GIFT OF CLEAN — Purchase cleaning supplies 1X a month for a local Syrian family, which aren’t covered by food stamps given to them by the government.
- QUARTERLY WOMEN’S EVENTS — Help host social events for newly arriving Syrian women on a quarterly basis in partnership with SARA Organization.
- GIVING TREE — Help coordinate this annual initiative to provide gifts, coats and household items for the refugee community here in Austin.
Give Towards Our 2016 Year-End Goal — Every dollar we receive over our normal operating budget this month will go towards creating safe spaces for refugee families and their children here in Austin and around the world. Our combined goal, for our 3 Austin locations, of $500,000 will create safe places for 2000 refugee children & family members! Learn more & give at GatewayChurch.com/Refugees.
Seeking Refuge Discussion Guide — Drawing from history, public policy, psychology, many personal stories and their own unique Christian worldview, three experts from World Relief offer a nuanced and compelling portrayal of the plight of refugees and the extraordinary opportunity we have to love our neighbors as ourselves. Dig deeper, with friends or your Life Group, into the topic of our current refugee crisis by downloading this discussion guide.
SPIRITUAL OUTCOMES — Serve
- Learn more about making a difference in the lives of refugees by working through the SERVE outcome.