Prayer: For health and strength and daily food, we praise Your name, O LORD. Amen.
Read Jeremiah 30: 18 – 24 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD was a time of restoration of Israel. Jeremiah writes that the LORD said that the people will come back from captivity to the lands of Israel and Judah. From the Israelites will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing.
Out of despair and chaos will come songs of thanksgiving. People who have been taken away from their homes to a foreign country. Today we hear and read of many people who must leave their country in order to find safety. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees – the United Nations Refugee Agency states there are currently 45.2 million people who are forcibly displaced. There were 15.4 million refugees worldwide at the end of 2012. The other 4.9 million Palestinian refugees are registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). During the year, conflict and persecution forced an average of 23,000 persons per day to leave their homes and seek protection elsewhere, either within the borders of their countries or in other countries.
Developing countries host over four fifths (80%) of the world’s refugees, compared to 70% ten years ago.
In 2012, the country hosting the largest number of refugees remained Pakistan, with 1.6 million refugees. Afghanistan retained the position as the biggest source country, a position it has held for 32 years. On average, one out of every four refugees worldwide is Afghan, with 95% located in Pakistan or Iran.
Last year, 46% of refugees were under 18 years old. This was in line with 2012 but higher than a few years ago. Refugee women and girls accounted for 48% of the refugee population.
An estimated 7.6 million people were newly displaced due to conflict or persecution, including 1.1 million new refugees- the highest number of new arrivals in one year since 1999.
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs): About 6.5 million people were forcibly uprooted people are displaced within their own country and are known as internally displaced people (IDPs). This equates to a new refugee or internally displaced person ever 4.1 seconds.
With some 4 million internally displaced people registered by the government of 1997, Columbia continued to face a large displacement situation. Escalating conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic displaced an estimated two million within the country, affecting an estimate four million by the end of the year.
Renewed fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo displaced more than a million people, bringing the total number of IDPs in the country to 2.7 million. Somalia (1.4 million) and Iraq (1.3 million). War in Mali in 2012 displaced more than 227,000 people within the country. (Facts and Information taken from www.unhcr.org.uk/about-us/key-facts-and-figures.html)
So, how do refugees and internally displaced persons affect us as Christians? Through our prayers, we must continue to remember the needs of refugees and internally displaced persons. Thought our financial support and on-the-ground support, we must continue to remember the needs of refugees and internally displayed persons. In your prayers, ask God today how you can help with the 45.2million people who have no refuge. Remember to not look at the huge number and think that you can not help out with so many. Instead of focussing upon what we don’t have, focus on all the things you are blessed with that will help people who do not have a safe place to rest their heads. Remember that it is through our efforts working together of answering God’s call that we can help 45.2 million people. We give thanks for the resources we have that we can share with the world. We give thanks that we have opportunities to help bring the love and peace of Christ into our world.
Today, the three things I am thankful are:
Prayer: Divine Healer, embrace me with Your love and happiness and delight. Allow me to feel confident that I am moving in the perfect direction for my life. Help me to recognize and celebrate all the wonderful things I have achieved, all the magnificent people with whom I have connected and all the rich experiences I have lived. As I recognize the grandness of my life, I feel truly blessed. Thank You O Lord God Almighty. Thank You for clearing our minds and hearts and souls so that our focus is always upon You. It is in Your presence that we live and move and have our being. With the grandness You have given to us in our life, may I now extent my hand to help those who are in need this day. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.