Mercy Update | World Relief Advent Drive
Advent Drive, Mercy Ministries | by Pastor Justin Keogh
In Seattle, we have thousands of neighbors who have arrived as refugees, asylees, or immigrants – often fleeing persecution and arriving with only the clothes on their backs. For those who are fortunate enough to be able to navigate the complex immigration system and be resettled in Seattle, they still face an uphill battle to learn to live in a new culture, with a new language, amidst the pain and confusion of trauma they’ve faced.
It is in this space that World Relief Seattle steps in to provide holistic, gospel-motivated, services that range from physical resettlement, language and cultural education, immigration and legal services, economic and employment training, and spiritual empowerment. As a church, we’ve partnered with World Relief Seattle to help serve those vulnerable image-bearers arriving in our city with the love of Christ. We do this because God has loved us in Christ while we were spiritually dead, apart from Him and without hope in the world.
CHRIST: OUR ULTIMATE REFUGE
God calls us to love others because, in Christ, we recognize our own spiritual need and the value of others as His image-bearers. In Deuteronomy 10, we see God connect His character with those who are sojourners. He speaks to ancient Israel, His adopted people who were to bear witness to God’s love, this way:
For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:17-19)
God tells Israel about His great love and awesome glory. But He does more than simply tell them; in His wisdom, God reveals His love for them and His power over all things by weaving into Israel’s story a sojourn in and rescue out of Egypt. Israel’s time in Egypt, and their redemption by God out of Pharoah’s hand, serve as undeniable, historical declarations of God’s power and love for His people. These attributes are rooted in His character, and He weaves them into Israel’s story, and then He calls them to love the sojourners in their midst.
The same is true for us in Christ. Ephesians 2 heralds this good news: God’s love for us and power toward us are just as profound, bringing life to dead sinners, bringing those who were far off into unity with God in Christ. Like Israel, we were sojourners, apart from God. Like Israel, we have been given God’s love and grace in Christ. And like Israel, God calls us to live a life that is transformed by His love, a life that glorifies God in the way we love others.
This Advent season, we’re hosting a drive with World Relief to purchase physical goods for our refugee, asylee, and immigrant neighbors resettling in Seattle. In 2019, World Relief Seattle has helped resettle almost 200 families (585 individuals). Our goal for this drive is to provide 20 families (or more!) with all of the physical essentials while they resettle in Seattle. That includes everything from toothbrushes and trash bags to bedding and cookware.
In order to make the greatest impact, we’re going to collect financial donations together as a church and then purchase these items in bulk.
WAYS TO PARTICIPATE
We invite you to prayerfully consider a gift toward serving these new neighbors, as God’s beloved image-bearers. 100% of the gifts collected will go directly to the material needs of the families served by World Relief.
- A gift of $25 can purchase the cleaning items for a family of 4
- A gift of $75 can purchase essential kitchenware
- A gift of $250 can provide linens & bedding
- A gift of $500 can provide a full package of essentials for a family of 4
You can contribute through a financial donation using the online giving button below, or by marking a monetary donation as “advent drive” and giving on a Sunday through December or by mailing it in.
All contributions are tax-deductible, and World Relief will receive 100% of your donation, less any processing fees (if applicable). A gift acknowledgment will be included in your year-end giving statement.
Visit downtowncornerstone.org/relief to learn more.