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Hope and home for refugees

A Christian Science perspective.

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While the developed countries of Europe and the Northern Hemisphere are coping with refugees assimilating into their societies, waves of family groups in poverty-stricken Latin America and war-torn parts of Africa and the Near East are yearning for security and protection.

I used to process refugees in Western Africa for resettlement in the United States. I met people longing not only for better lives but for basic rights and freedom from fear. At times, their stories were so graphic and compelling that I wanted to just wrap my arms around them. What comforted me during these times was the promise of God's infinite care for them. This statement in Psalms says it all: "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there" (139:7, 8).

I knew as I spoke to each refugee that God, who is Love, had never abandoned them. I knew that the divine Father-Mother of all was loving them – loving all His-Her children. That is a concept that became truer to me during my 18 months of refugee casework. I went to bed every night praying for the well-being and protection of the people I talked to. It was the only way I could keep peace of mind; otherwise, the accounts I heard could have haunted me, and I wouldn't have been able to help them.

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