someone who has been forced to leave a country
because of war or for religious or political reasons
Jesus was a refugee. His father Joseph, warned by an angel in a dream, fled the horror of King Herod’s Bethlehem ‘Massacre of the Innocents,’ and escaped with his small family to Egypt. We don’t really know how long they were there before returning to Israel, avoiding Bethlehem and settling in Galilee. They were fulfilling the prophecy:
“Out of Egypt did I call my son.” [Hosea 11:1]
Just inside our front door hangs a painting given, to us by Graham & Treena Kerr:
The Flight into Egypt
Refugees are in the news today, but are certainly not a recent phenomenon. The Israelites fled through the Red Sea from Pharaoh’s atrocities, then wandered around for 40 years before finding their Promised Land. Lot escaped from Sodom, young David had to flee from a murderous King Saul, Paul had to escape—for a few years—from the assassinating Jewish hierarchy. And on and on through the centuries there have been people displaced by tyrants and wars.
To be a refugee can be a discombobulating, confusing and painful experience. In a small measure, I was a refugee when I was younger.
In September 1945, all of eleven years old, together with my family and thanks to the International Red Cross, I boarded the USS REFUGE—a US Navy Hospital Ship—in Shanghai, China.
USS REFUGE (AH-11)
WW2 had just ended, and thousands of foreigners had been released from prison camps throughout Asia, all clamoring to get somewhere else. Some had to wait for years, but we escaped early because my mother had just had major surgery.
We crossed the East China Sea to Okinawa, Japan, where we transhipped to the USS SANCTUARY; then we sailed across the broad reaches of the Pacific Ocean, to behold the beautiful, grand and impressive Golden Gate Bridge, which to this day, dominates the entrance to San Francisco Bay.
After two weeks of California fattening up—my brother Ted and I, still skinny as tooth-picks—were off with our family by train northward and up the coast to Vancouver, Canada. Once there, we ran into some entry problems and were detained in an austere old red brick, harbor-front Immigration building, but enjoying freedom to move around in the daytime.
With my brother safely enrolled in the University of British Columbia Pre-Med School, the rest of us embarked on a steam train, and chugged across the seemingly endless and vast land of Canada, arriving a week later in Halifax on the East Coast. Whereupon we immediately embarked on a troopship for the final leg home. Well, at least it was home to my parents.
But it never became my home. So, after six plodding and painfully average years of school, just 17 years old, I embarked on the M/V Empress of Scotland, heading westward to my Promised Land—The Dominion of Canada. I was still a refugee, but now finally landed in a place that I knew I wanted to be. And even though I looked like a Canuck, I spoke a different brand of English, eh?
At that time many refugees were resettling in nations like Canada, escaping the terrible after-effects of WW2 in Europe. In some ways, all of us immigrants were lumped together by the locals and referred to as DPs (Displaced Persons), or WoPs (Without Papers), or JCs ("I’m a’Joosta Come"). There were lots of Italians!
So I determined to become as ‘Canadian’ as I could, as fast as I could. I did nothing to hang on to my ‘Old Country’ accent, and after five years I became what was known as a a Five Dollar Canadian (that being the cost of Citizenship in those days).
Therefore, I know a little bit of what it feels like to be a stranger in a new land, and am eternally thankful to have been accepted into a new nation. And I want to keep my own heart open and free from prejudice toward the current crisis of Displaced—and sometimes Misplaced—Persons.
Is there enough wisdom in the world—without God having a say—to solve this currrent refugee crisis? "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. . . " [Prov 9:10a] But sadly, there is not much fear of the Lord around today.
Actually, all of us believers are refugees. We have fled the Kingdom of Darkness and are Landed Immigrants in the Kingdom of Light. We’re DPs, we’re WoPs, we’re JCs!
Blessings to you and yours—and a very Joyful Christmas,
God so LOVED the world that He GAVE His one and only son.
Christmas is about LOVING and GIVING. Giving because we love. Love comes from God.
Relying on GOD’S LOVE takes away all FEAR. There is NO FEAR in love, but God’s perfect love drives out fear.
Fear is increasing in the world. Will we be carriers of God’s love or carriers of fear?
God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom He has given us.
Wherever we go this Christmas season let us pour out His love through our words, deeds and actions, whether it’s in stores, the workplace or online. Every day, let’s reflect God’s love. Christmas is all about loving and giving.
May God bless you abundantly this Christmas season with His love.
Love and Blessings,
Would you sign a Covenant to pray for an end to Bible poverty in the world?
That’s all folks . . . for 2015. See you in the New Year?
Be Blessed—and be a Blessing,
The Small Print
that often gets missed (but is important to us!)
—and the whole ministry of YWAM Associates—is for the encouragement,
building up, inspiring, refreshing, stimulating and the thought-provoking of the saints.
Are you a saint? If you’re reading this, you probably are.
To help us continue this ministry, donations are gratefully received. click here
Feel free to use anything from , in whole or in part,
in any way that will glorify God and advance His Kingdom
We love to hear from you, and it would be great if you would send us email addresses
(Name, City & Country) of your friends. Click here!
Editor, Peter Jordan; Regular Contributor, Donna Jordan;
Copy Editor, Laurie Jordan-Worrall; Mascot, Ruth Worrall
Our website: www.ywamassociates.com
YWAM Associates International is a ministry of Youth With A Mission
335-29 River Ridge Drive NW
Medicine Hat, Alberta
CANADA T1A 8V3