Stand Alongside Syrian Refugees
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Refugee crisis: FREE resource for small groups. Small group prayer and discussion guide. Help your church learn more about the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today — Challenge your small groups to demonstrate God’s love by praying for and offering care to displaced families seeking refuge in Syria and the surrounding nations.
World Vision’s new prayer and discussion guide explores the biblical themes of compassion and love for neighbor. It will touch the hearts of your congregation through stories of children and families in desperate need of love and support.
A4 downloads from World Vision. 4 sessions:
Colourful A4 downloadable resource that weaves together well the plight of the Syrian refugees, and the biblical mandate for caring about them. Moving and accessible.
‘Dare to step into the margins' summarises the aim as reflecting on ‘What the Bible says about hope, joy, faith, and peace in the midst of struggles. And we'll explore the darker corners of our world, where the poor and the oppressed, the broken and the lonely dwell. Because that's where Christ himself dwells'.
‘How to use this guide' explains that each session contains: refugee story, Scripture passage/s plus questions, application and prayer ideas; and suggests ways of using each. Very good layout on the downloads makes the sections clear. Great photographs bring the material to life. Easy to use, and effective. Good length – enough, but not too much.
Any competent leader. It's all there.
N/A although see website/digital questions.
Videos on World Vision support the material and are excellent: short and moving, focusing on the plight of the children (who comprise over half of the refugees). Showing these (or even one) would be a good addition to this material, and help to put faces on the facts.
Line up video from website if using; decide how to use material.
Lots of information on the World Vision site: ‘This is the worst humanitarian disaster of our time. The crisis in Syria affects more than 12 million people - more than those affected by Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti earthquake, and the Indian Ocean tsunami combined. Half of Syria's population have fled their homes and are living in camps with little more than the clothes on their backs.' Opportunities to get involved.
Discussion questions tackle our response to the refugee crisis, as well as to the biblical material. These, plus prayer together, will ensure good interaction.
Adding in a couple of the videos from the World Vision website would increase the variety here. But stories from refugees are bound to appeal to all – and bring challenge and reality to the study.
Should suit a wide variety of groups, just as it is. A vital subject that many of us probably should be engaging with, and this is a helpful and creative way to do it.
Application and Go Deeper sections encourage exploration into the theme of each session, with a good variety of questions that encourage reflection and action.
Each session has one or more relevant Bible passages, which are followed by questions and a brief but thought-provoking commentary.
Good choices of biblical material, and most questions are good (a few are a little obvious). Commentary is lively and mixes helpful background with implications for applications.
A clear strength of this resource. The material wrestles with how the Bible would have us view and react to the deeply distressing current refugee situation.
Broadly evangelical, but mainly concerned to explore God's attitude to refugees, whoever they are, as recorded in the Bible.
While the focus is on the refugee crisis, the study urges us to respond generally in our lives with God-inspired compassion, no matter where we find ourselves.
Excellent exploration of how our faith relates to our actions and attitudes.
The biblical material makes it plain that we cannot, and dare not, ignore the biblical imperative to compassion. Prayer suggestions range from general to very specific.
Realistic in that it brings together real stories from real refugees with opportunities to explore our own reactions to challenging situations.
Not a focus but implicit in the call to act in Jesus' name in areas of need.
Engaging with the themes from a biblical point of view leads to getting involved – both locally and on a wider scale.
This study connects constructively and personally with one of the worst humanitarian situations we face. No hard sell from World Vision however. The invitation to get involved via their charity is low-key and only appears at the end of the study.
Implicit in the call to act in Jesus' name.
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