Audacious compassion for refugees, bold prayers for wisdom

By February 1, 2017

USA (MNN) — President Trump’s temporary ban on refugee resettlement in the United States continues to be a tense subject. Food for the Hungry, a ministry seeking to end all forms of human poverty, recently submitted a press release stating their concerns about the executive order.

(Photo courtesy of Food for the Hungry via Facebook)

(Photo courtesy of Food for the Hungry via Facebook)

Below is Food for the Hungry’s media release:

The Bible is filled with instruction and commands us to love, seek justice and welcome immigrants. We are called to love across borders regardless of race, religion, ethnicity or social status. Isolationism is not a godly value. As such, we are troubled by the recent executive order temporarily halting refugee resettlement and dramatically reducing the number of refugees who could be considered for resettlement to the U.S. Food for the Hungry boldly stands in solidarity with refugees and urges our governmental leaders to care about the plight of these most vulnerable people.

Most of us can trace our own heritage back to immigrants who dreamt of a better life for themselves, their families and their future. The United States has a long history of welcoming those who are in search of escape from oppression and fear. Hospitality is a biblical value and an American tradition.

Food for the Hungry advocates for the vulnerable and marginalized and this includes the plight of the refugee. We actively work with partners in Syria, Lebanon and many parts of east Africa to serve refugees who are fleeing violence, persecution and fear in neighboring areas. While our work and specific response to the refugee crisis is international, we support and partner with other organizations that are called to resettle refugees in the United States. We understand that an attack on the resettlement of refugees in the U.S. works in opposition to our mission to serve vulnerable people and further contributes to damaging rhetoric around refugees.

Many of our close partners, including Accord Network, recently collaborated and signed a letter to President Trump and Vice President Pence articulating our concern regarding the recent executive order. You can read it here.

FH is in full support of this letter by virtue of our leadership and our participation in Accord Network.

We will continue to pray for all of those in positions of civil authority, that God would continue to grant them wisdom and guidance.

We also touched base with Gary Edmonds, President and CEO of Food for the Hungry, to get further perspective.

(Photo courtesy of Christian Aid Mission)

(Photo courtesy of Christian Aid Mission)

He explains, “Over decades, we have had many partners who actively engage in resettling refugees in this country. It’s a quite onerous, strict process these refugee candidates and asylum seekers go through. So we know there has been a very strong vetting process over time, and thus we want to make sure our partners who actively engage in working with refugees here in the United States are able to continue to do it as faith-based Christians who are living with the level of passion and seeking to follow the admonishing of Jesus to that point of being hospitable, being welcoming to the foreigner, the alien, [and] those who are in states of poverty.

“We are people who support [and] pray for the president, we pray for those in leadership,” says Edmonds. However, “we…have a sense that the way [the executive order] was written, the way it was rolled out very quickly, that it didn’t seem to take into consideration all the people in present processes and people who are actively right now seeking asylum and being, at least on a temporary basis, turned away. Obviously, if this were rescinded, if the things were taken care of, that would be favorable to us. We would see that as a favorable approach, because we do believe we’ve got a very strict process that is being actively followed in vetting or qualifying those who get to come and seek full refugee status or asylum status here in the United States.”

Edmonds says, ultimately, they recognize it’s a multifaceted issue. But they want to encourage believers to make sure our stance on national security issues doesn’t hinder our ability to express compassion.

“On one level, security for the nation, that is a real, legitimate issue that needs to be addressed. The other side of it is how do we continue to be a welcoming environment, how do we continue to live with a level of compassion and seek to follow the injunctions of Jesus in responding to the plight of the poor, the vulnerable, the refugees, the voiceless in the world. So let us sit down and get reasoned minds and heads together and speak to that kind of an issue, and let’s separate the two issues out and not just make them simply one issue.”


(Photo courtesy of Christian Aid Mission)

Bottom line, no matter where you stand, our calling is the same.

“We see our calling as Christians to actually be a voice, an advocate for the poor, the vulnerable, the immigrants, the refugees. We want to be able to stand with them, declare that.”

Here’s two things you can do right now to demonstrate Christ’s compassion. You can give to Food for the Hungry’s orphans and vulnerable children fund as they support at-risk kids in volatile communities.

And then, pray with audacity and boldness before the throne of God.

“I would say that we pray for wisdom, we pray for wisdom for those in authority, we pray for a spirit of compassion. I think as well, we have to pray…to seek the hope of the glory of God. In order to do that, we need to be people of deep and profound morality aligning with God’s heart on these kinds of matters. And I am quite confident that we align with God’s heart especially as we side with the voiceless, the poor, and the needy.”


  • I strongly disagree with your position. Have you not taken notice of what is happening in Europe? This is not about refugees, it is about allowing people who have no love for our way of life and is determined to actually take control by stealth. Why do you think we have so called refugees demanding that we conform to their religious ideas? There are many instances where these people have done dastardly thing. How many people have to die before it is necessary to do something drastic? This does not even address the expense to the US citizen. Helping is one thing but allowing the country to be over run by a ‘foreign’ ideology is just plain wrong.

  • AZ Gal says:

    I agree with you, Bernice. I have not donated to FFH since Gary made that statement. I feel bad that my financial support for so many needy people around the world is now on hold. I am in favor of supporting sanctuary cities in their own countries rather than displacing 1000‘s of people into our country let alone bringing in so many that hate us to death. It does not stop my prayers for everyone…God is not limited by borders, oceans and governments.

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