We have a choice. To love or to fear. If we choose love, we must do everything in our power to help these people who are suffering across Europe. If we choose fear, we will become like those who persecute them—hating everyone that doesn't fit into their mould of humanity.
If we choose love, we must be peacemakers. If we decide to make peace, we must first start with making peace in ourselves. We must embody the very peace we aim to spread. We must love our neighbors as ourselves, and we must love our enemies also.
I believe we will look back in history and view this situation in Europe with far more gravity and importance than we perceive it today. History provides much needed perspective. When you look back at the Holocaust who do you identify with? The likes of those who risked their lives to save others or the likes of those who lost their souls and did nothing?
Every moment is a choice.
What are the stories we want to tell our children?
I understand that it is a luxury for me to be able to work on the refugee crisis full-time. I'm at the stage in life where I can afford to take risks and I have the structure and security to support me in this venture to help refugees.
I understand that helping refugees is in no way superior to helping other people in need. I understand that people respond to crises differently and are called to help different people.
My aim is not to convince you that you should drop everything you're doing and help refugees because you'll be a bad person if you don't.
My aim is to re-wire myself to react to situations like the refugee crisis differently.
I think the first and easiest response is to feel like there is nothing we can do and that it is beyond our control. I truly believe that fear is the root of this reaction. When we dig through our fear we realize that we have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those who are suffering.
We can form small groups of highly empowered people who share a single purpose and a vision for how to make that purpose happen. This is a proven recipe which has created positive change throughout history.
Our potential involvement in the refugee crisis is completely transformed through the internet. We don't have to leave our jobs and move to a refugee camp. The internet allows us to help from the very devices we use every single day.
We can have compassion for life on the ground in refugee camps across Europe in just a few searches. We can donate directly to refugees and their families on platforms like Human Wire. We can volunteer our skills as digital workers on platforms like STRC, and we can petition local and national governments to respond to the crisis differently.
We can host refugees in our homes through organizations like Refugees Welcome and we can support urgent aid efforts through organizations like the British Red Cross. If you'd prefer to support more grassroots volunteer efforts with less cost on operations, see Lesvos Volunteers.
We can create relationships across faith divides and we can pray for peace. We have so many options to create positive change in a broken world. The first step is to make a choice: to love or to fear?
Every moment is a choice.
If there is any way I can support you in your choice to love amidst the crisis, please let me know and it would be an honor to come alongside you in this journey. We are all in this together.
Thank you for your time and bless you for your heart.