Welcoming Strangers.

Let us look at this problem in a more rounded way.  
 
There is now something like 70.8 million displaced people in the world.  That is, people running away from war, persecution and terrible conditions. The population of the UK is around that number.
One could probably comfortably fit the entire population of the UK into California and would still have 49 other states left to populate. (There are eleven States of the USA that have greater land area than the UK. California is equal to 1.74 UK’S.) At the moment of my writing Turkey is hosting very many refugees. Turkey has a domiciled population of around 82 million.  It is currently hosting around 4 million refugees. Then there is Lebanon, a tiny country with a population of just over 6 million, currently hosting around 1.5 million refugees.
The USA has a population 327.2 million, but please remember the vast land area.  The USA probably has, according the UNHCR, been the biggest recipient of refugees.
The other mistake that people often make is that these refugee people are coming to “take” from you/us - wherever their new country of residency is – anything and everything that is free.  Over and over again that fake news is propagated in the UK in the right-wing press, when in reality such people contribute more to the UK tax coffers, often more than the average UK citizen. I personally am aware of people who came to the UK with nothing, not speaking the language but have created jobs and employment and contributed to the wealth of the UK in a great way.
Again, on the whole subject of socialism, please read my spiel on that. You might be surprised to know that the USA was the great innovator as far as socialism was concerned. http://adrianhawkes.co.uk/?s=Socialism
But let me then look at it from another angle. Who are we?  I am referring to people who are Jesus followers. We are citizens of another Kingdom. Our job is to seek the Kingdom of God on earth, i.e. to be salt and light. To do this we are to speak to the rulers and the power holders, calling them to account and seeking to bring to the earth Justice, Peace, etc., for that is what comprises the Kingdom of God. So, we have a great responsibility where there is injustice, unrighteousness and the  dehumanisation of people who are made in the image of God.   We are also called to be welcoming people who are strangers. We are even called, if they are our enemies, to love them!
As a follower of Christ, I do not believe there is “no answer” to that 70.8 million. I am just Joe Blogs, but I can think of at least three major answers. One at least I did manage to get the UK upper house to discusses. However, talking is not action.  I also remember the invitation to the UN to talk about refugees and asylum seekers there, where I said that people of faith are the ones that must get their hands dirty, if looking after people means to be solution providers. We are trying and are currently housing around 30 and providing carers for another 20 foster children.  That to me seems a very small contribution, and I plan for us to do more.  
 
I am of the opinion that the UK, and the USA whilst doing something can do more and better. I think holding people who are running away from persecution and war should be treated with kindness and care and not, as in the UK, placed in Yarl’s Wood Detention Centre, for indefinite periods (The UK is the only European country that has no time limit on how long one can be kept in detention), or have children placed in overcrowded centres on the USA boarders.
Adrian Hawkes
Blog 11.11.19
W. 648

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