We are called by God to love those who have been displaced from their homes and provide them with practical care. Deuteronomy 10:17-19 says “For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality, nor take a bribe. He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the stranger by giving him food and clothing. So show love for the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.”
Jericho Road aims to welcome the stranger in partnership with local congregations through:
•First Friends – a Christian community response based on the individual needs of refugees
•Refugee Response Network – a way for everyone to be involved
•At the Innkeepers – a way for young people to support young refugees
•Sponsorship – from time to time we will raise funds in conjunction with a congregation to enable specific refugees to settle in Australia
See below for more details
RICE & OIL DRIVE – MAY/JUNE 2016
During May and June 2016 we are holding a Rice & Oil drive. We will be collecting 2kg bags of Basmati rice and 1L to 4L containers of cooking oil. These will be distributed to refugee families in our communities via the Sydney Refugee Team. Will you join us?
Collected items can be dropped off at Winmalee, Surry Hills or Dundas. Limited collection available on request.
HELP FUND A COMMUNITY CHAPLAIN
To significantly increase the impact of our response Jericho Road is seeking to engage a part-time Community Chaplain to work directly with refugees in our community. Refugees in our community are some of the most vulnerable people and often struggle with everyday life. There is a need for someone to meet them where they are with the love of Jesus. There is a need for someone whose job it is to simply (and not so simply!) be out in the community, meeting people with care and the gospel. A Community Chaplain.
The Community Chaplain would play a key role in supporting the mercy ministry of local churches and coordinate our Refugee Response. The Chaplain would become a link between individuals and other services that can meet their physical needs, but this is not the main focus of the position. The main focus is to meet the spiritual needs of individuals who would otherwise be isolated from the gospel.
The Chaplain would also be responsible for harnessing the work of willing volunteers who might have time to help with certain projects, coordinating their efforts and providing professional support.
We have received a commitment to providing $10,000 in 2016 towards this work. To make it happen we need a guaranteed minimum of $60,000 per year.
If just 50 people give $20 per week the Presbyterian Church can engage a Community Chaplain to work with refugees for a year. If just 30 congregations give just $140 a month… it’s not impossible. In fact, it is very achievable.
Will you prayerfully consider if you can help with this work? If you would like to contribute to this part of our Refugee Response, you can make a one-off or regular donation via this website or get in touch.
First Friends is how we will provide a Christian community response to individuals and families, providing specific care for each individual based on their specific needs. This could include the provision of food, friendship and hospitality, access to education and employment pathways, writing resumes, ESL classes, weekends away, assistance to access medical care… all manner of things that will help each person find their feet in a new country and access whatever help they may need.
If your church has a heart for refugees, get in touch and see if being a First Friends congregation is something you want to explore.
Refugee Response Network
There have been a significant number of individuals and pastoral charges who are keen to get involved. We would like to set up a church-wide network of individuals and churches that can work together to show God’s love to refugees. We have identified the following as the best ways that people can get involved wherever they are:
•Packed with Love: Welcome boxes, care boxes, cleaning boxes and more – these can be put together, stored locally and delivered to Jericho Road for distribution via First Friends and the Sydney Refugee Team
•Rice and Oil drive: Sydney Refugee Team have a constant need (and not much supply) for Basmati rice in 2kg bags and cooking oil which can be provided on an ongoing basis
•Do you have…? : One off items that are needed by particular people can be requested and donated at the time of need. For example, one family recently needed a bike for transport… lots of us have one of those that with a bit of TLC could have been given with love
•Holiday breaks: This is what a weekend at the beach or in the country could be for a family needing a break away to recover from trauma or for a rest from the struggle of daily life
•Prayer: We will include everyone in the Refugee Response Network on our Jericho Road Prayer Letter distribution list which will include specific prayer points for refugees
•Financial donations: These will be used to support the entire Refugee Response including First Friends, providing educational scholarships, supporting training opportunities etc
At the Innkeepers – A way for young people to get involved
At the Innkeepers is about stocking The Storeroom at the Innkeepers so that we can together show generous love to those in need. Our focus is on providing support to young refugees and asylum seekers in New South Wales.
Remember the parable of the Good Samaritan? The man going from Jerusalem to Jericho who was attacked, beaten, robbed and left for dead. The people who should have stopped… who walked right by. The Samaritan who stopped… and provided more than a road side band aid and a kind word. He did that and more… he “put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
At the Innkeepers is about filling up the storeroom so that the Innkeeper has plenty to work with and so that together we can obey Jesus’ command to “Go and do likewise.”
The key aim of At the Innkeepers is to get young people to help young refugees in our communities. We will initially do this through our partnership with the Sydney Refugee Team who run weekends away for families where they can rest, recover and hear about Jesus. Just $80 pays for a place for a young person to attend… and our help will allow the Team to run more weekends. In time, we hope that we will be able to run similar weekends.
Check it out at www.attheinnkeepers.org.au
We have been working with City Central Presbyterian Church Wollongong to raise the support necessary to sponsor a Christian family to immigrate to Australia from a refugee camp in Turkey. We have raised the funds… and they are now waiting to book the tickets!
And a challenge…
There are Presbyterian Churches in the South West of Sydney that are right amongst 90% of the refugees currently living in New South Wales. Would you consider moving to Liverpool and joining them? We have the opportunity to bring the gospel to people from all over the world and show God’s love to those who have sought refuge here. Bruce Hammonds is the minister at Liverpool and if this is a challenge you would like to think about some more he’d love you to call him on Ph:98225240
For more information or to share your ideas please feel free to contact Mrs Elizabeth McClean at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please keep refugees in our communities and in communities all over the world in your prayers. May we meet this challenge remembering Jesus’ command to “go and do likewise.”
If you would like to contribute financially to this work please donate here.
Please join with us as we pray for peace and an end to the conflict that is seeing so many people forced from their homes. And pray with us that those that are resettled in Australia may find refuge and may know the love of our great God through His people.