An invitation from Tom De Vries for the GC2 Summit

Date Posted: 
Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Dear RCA family,

As we begin a new year, I am still reflecting on and celebrating all that Jesus’ birth means to us. We have so much to be grateful for. God sent his son to live with us, die for us, and rise for us. This gives us hope for life eternal and courage to persevere through the darkness on earth. What good news!                                                                                                                                                           

One fact about Jesus’ birth that we perhaps overlook is his family’s flight to another country to escape King Herod, who intended to kill all male children under the age of two. Jesus was a refugee. This realization got me thinking: If Jesus asks us to treat other people the way that we would treat him, aren’t we called to care for today’s refugees?

I believe the answer is YES.                                                                   

And refugees need our help now more than ever. There are about 19.5 million refugees and 38.2 million internally displaced people worldwide. (Internally displaced people have fled their homes but remain in their home country.) That adds up to nearly 60 million people. There are almost 4.4 million refugees from Syria alone.

How can we help? I invite you to come together with evangelicals from across the country to discuss this very question at the Great Commandment and Great Commission (GC2) Summit on Wednesday, January 20, 2016, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Wheaton College's Billy Graham Center in Wheaton, Illinois. The summit will provide theological and biblical grounds for caring for refugees, feature presentations on various ways to serve, and showcase partnership opportunities that can help make a difference. Conference planners are working on offering a simulcast for those unable to travel to Wheaton.

You can learn more about GC2 Summit and read its missional statement here. If you wish, you can join me and many other RCA members in endorsing this missional statement.

There are also many other ways that you can respond to the refugee crisis. You can:

  • Build relationships with the refugees in your area.
  • Work with mission partners to make a difference for refugees across the globe.
  • Work more directly with the GC2 Summit movement.
  • Participate in one of two upcoming RCA webinars about the refugee crisis (dates and times will be announced next month).

Just email us at refugees@rca.org to let us know how you would like to care for refugees, and we’ll help you get started.                                              

To reject the refugees is to reject both their humanity and Christ’s charge to us to care for them. However you feel God is calling you to engage refugees, I encourage you to act. I encourage you to share the heart of Jesus with refugees who desperately need to know that love. I encourage you to show love and compassion to the stranger, the refugee.

Yours in Christ,

Tom De Vries

General Secretary

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