BY COLLEEN BURRS
There is a popular Christian contemporary song which asks in reference to heartbreaking world situations, “God, why don’t you do something?” God’s reply … “I did. I created you.”
One of the fundamental beliefs of Rockpoint Church is that faith is something to be lived out in our daily lives. Faith is not an ethereal concept, but faith leads to action, and Rockpoint strongly emphasizes the idea that faith is best lived out in the context of serving others. We encourage everyone at Rockpoint to serve in the local community, as well as around the world.
Sometimes the world comes to our doorstep, as was the case when Hmong refugees arrived beginning in the 70s. Today, Minnesota has one of the largest Hmong population in the U.S. We also have the largest Somali population in the U.S. — a statistic that frightens many because of our heated political climate. It’s easy to “pick a side” and hope someone else will figure it out.
Our challenge comes when we are directed to love others as ourselves (Matt 22:39) and as Christ loves the church. God often puts opportunities in front of us to share love. It’s our choice whether we respond to the opportunities.
Minnesota is currently home to more than 90,000 refugees from over 90 countries around the world. When we forget that each person is uniquely created by God, it becomes easy to view refugees with an “us” and “them” mentality. From our human perspective, it’s common to look at different people groups and make presumptions that everyone within those groups is largely the same. Contrast that with God’s view of people — he sees the heart of the individual and loves each person, whether they love him or not.
Many from our Rockpoint congregation volunteer with Arrive Ministries, a nonprofit that empowers local churches to welcome and serve displaced refugees who resettle in Minnesota. Through Arrive and similar organizations, we are helping refugees learn the language, culture and skills they need to begin a new life in our country.
Now beginning a third year, Rockpoint will provide Church Refugee Gardens, a part of Arrive Ministries. The small garden spaces are a tiny gesture on our part, but for people — especially those moving from an agrarian homeland — they provide food and a sense of self-sufficiency, and allow them to hold on to a cultural identification with farming.
The next two weekends, Feb 19 and 26, Rockpoint Sunday morning services will focus on how we are making an impact beyond our own walls.
On Sunday evening, Feb. 19, we will show the movie, “The Insanity of God” (6 p.m.). The documentary portrays what believers in other countries endure to follow Jesus and is a great eye-opener as to why we should give help to refugees. Isn’t that what Jesus taught in the parable of the Good Samaritan?
To show God’s love, we should look past the ethnic identity and look toward what human compassion and the love of God would have us do. The showing is free and open to the public.
We help because that is what the Bible teaches us to do — to show the love of God by being his hands and feet here on the earth. “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me,” Matthew 25:40 (NIV).
Colleen Burrs is the communication specialist at Rockpoint Church in Lake Elmo.