World Refugee Day

This is a prayer written for the Williamsburg Christian Church family in remembrance of World Refugee Day.

El Roi, the God who sees, you are the God of the displaced and oppressed, and as El Roi, you see them. Help us to see them.

Lord, open the eyes of my heart.

Remind us of who we are, once displaced by our sin, but now welcomed into Your life where we have found a true home.

Lord, help me remember.

Remind us of who we are, once strangers to You, now adopted into Your royal family and called Your children.

Lord, help us remember.

In a world where suffering and violence remains, we see our neighbors made in your image running for their lives. 

Lord, help me see.

Help us see them leaving their homes and all they have known because of the suffering and violence that pursues them. 

Lord, help us see.

Help us see them forcibly displaced where once citizens of their homeland they are now global immigrants and strangers seeking refuge. 

Lord, help us see.

Help us to see them as they are, beloved neighbors made in your image, displaced and oppressed by suffering and violence and in desperate need of welcome, of hospitality and hope, compassion and care.

Lord, help us see so that our seeing will lead to doing.

As you guided your people of old by a pillar cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night, guide these, your people of today who cry out to you, El Roi, the God who sees. Be for them what you have always been, a Father to orphans, Liberator of the oppressed, Redeemer of Widows, and Homemaker for the displaced.

Lord, teach us, convict us, and lead us that we may join you in the seeing, join you in the provision, join you in the liberation, join you in the redemption and join you in the homemaking. 

We praise you oh God for liberating us to follow in the steps of the crucified, risen and ascended Lord Jesus. We praise you for forming us into a royal priesthood of peacemakers summoned to love our neighbors and work for the good of our temporary home in anticipation of the new heaven and new earth when you, our Liberating King, will once and for all usher in our eternal home where suffering and violence will be no more, and where all displacement ceases to exist.

In the name of Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever, amen.

About Fred

Fred came to serve greater Williamsburg and WCC as lead pastor in October of 2010 and is grateful to be a part of the family. He is a husband, father, certified trauma professional, S.T.A.R. (strategies for trauma awareness & resilience) practitioner, community organizer, TEDx alum, founder of 3e Restoration, Inc. and co-owner of Philoxenia Culture LLC. He received his B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and his Master’s of Religious Education in Missional Leadership from Rochester University. Currently he is a candidate for a Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology in at Northern Seminary in Chicago. Fred has also served as an adjunct professor for Rochester University and Regent University where taught courses in philosophy, ethics, leadership, pastoral care, intro to Christianity, and ethnography. He has also served as a guest lecturer on the subjects of racialized cultural systems, poverty, and missiology at various universities, such as William & Mary and Oklahoma Christian University. Fred has authored on book (Racialized Cultural Systems, Social Displacement and Christian Hospitality) and several curriculum offerings, including The FloorPlan: Living Toward Restoration & Resilience. Fred enjoys hanging out with his family anytime, anywhere. He is deeply grateful for how God graciously works through the Church in all her various forms, despite our brokenness. He is passionate about seeing the last, least, and lonely of every neighborhood, city and nation experience God’s in-breaking kingdom, and come to know Jesus as King. Oh, and his favorite season is Advent and Christmas. Fred is a founding member of the board of directors for Virginia Racial Healing Institute, a member of the leadership team for Williamsburg's local chapter of Coming to the Table, and a member of Greater Williamsburg Trauma-Informed Community Network's Racial Trauma Committee and Training Committee.
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1 Response to World Refugee Day

  1. Gailyn Van Rheenen says:

    Thanks, Fred, for these reflections! Yes, we are a country of refugees who follow a loving God, who leads us the call and nurture those of all races, tribes, and peoples to live in community as people of the kingdom of God!! Well said!


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