Refugee Sponsorship – Theological Background, Convictions & Assumptions
Scripture and Theological Background
“What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
"I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me....Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me."
"‘Who is my neighbour?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him."
“Do to others as you would have them do to you.”
Jesus’ teachings are clear that followers of his ways are not called to save their lives, or to hold a tight grip on their resources, but rather to give away all that they have and are in the pursuit of the kingdom of love, neighbourliness, and justice. Christians respond out of the biblical call to offer hospitality to strangers, sanctuary to the endangered, love for neighbours, and justice for the persecuted and oppressed.
In Matthew 25 Jesus says the nations of the world will be judged by how they treat the poor, the hungry, the immigrant:
"‘And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’"
- To seek justice and resist evil
- To live with respect
- To see the ‘other’
- To help our neighbour
Assumptions When Sponsoring a Refugee Family
- The task of the sponsoring group is to help the newcomers to imagine, create, and live out their own dreams for the future.
- A large, active, trained and involved sponsorship team is required for success.
- The need to be flexible.
- The need to Listen. Listen. Listen.
- The need to be supportive.
- The need to be realistic.
- The need to observe healthy boundaries (Duty of Care).
- The need for safety for all.
- Everyone will be learning.
- The need for sensitivity.
- The need for patience.
- The need to know and make use of community resources.
- Work by consensus.
- The newcomers are unique human beings, and individuals, not a random or abstract group.
- The members of the refugee family have been fully screened.
- The process of shaping a new life belongs to the newcomer
- the resident family (if one exists) will be involved.
- The newcomer will fully participate in the process of shaping a new life.
- The value of religious freedom.
- The eventual objective of integration into the fabric of community.