Most all of us have experienced the wonderful feeling of family. We know the sense of belonging that comes with being together with parents or children and being with extended family. It gives us a sense of belonging. It makes us feel like we are part of something bigger, part of a group of people who sincerely care for us and for our well-being.
As many of you know, I have been helping to coordinate a mission work with refugees in Vienna, Austria. Hundreds of thousands of refugees have flooded into Europe in the past years, looking for a place to call home. Most of them have lost everything. They have left their home countries with what they have on their backs. Many have lost family, they have lost that sense of belonging and fellowship with family that we often take for granted.
WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE A REFUGEE
In the past months, scores of refugees from Syria and from Iran have been pouring into Austria. More than 100 have become Christians in Vienna alone. Their thoughts were expressed in an email I received a while back. It went like this:
Imagine . . . having to pay more than your income to be able to go to church. Imagine having to get up before 6am each Sunday morning, so you make it to church on time. Imagine going home with public transportation and having to switch buses two or three times to get home by late afternoon.
Imagine . . . losing everything overnight . . . your family . . . friends . . . your home!
Pause and think what that would mean for you!
This is why we are eager to come long ways to worship (sometimes three hours or longer). We are eager because:The church is our new family. The church is made up of our new friends. The church is our new home. The church is all we have!
Our Baker Heights family is never something that we should take for granted! We need each other! We need to be together! Not only are we something special to God, as his special people, we are special and important to one another!
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light..” 1 Pet. 2:9