Over the past two years, many refugee advocates have urged the U.S. to return to a time in her history when we welcomed refugees simply because it was the right thing to do. They nostalgically recall a time when we welcomed the downtrodden and persecuted as humanitarians, rather than using them as political pawns. Unfortunately, though, what these advocates recall is a myth and not a historical reality. Those who truly care about the plight of more than 25 million refugees around the world, must rightly remember America’s refugee resettlement history if we are to move forward into a more compassionate future.Read More
“It’s just because people are introducing so many chemicals into their systems,” she insisted. “If people go back to using non-toxic, natural plant-based products, we’ll stop seeing these chronic conditions.” I sat in a living room with half a dozen other women and listened to a sales representative from a large essential oils company guarantee that their products could heal anything that ailed us. She read us an excerpt from the memoir of a woman, “just like us,” she said, who had cured a brain tumor with 5ml glass bottles of pure plant elixir.Read More
This week, after a semester away, I resumed my MA studies in international refugee law. This term, I’m taking a course called “Asylum and Refugees in Africa and Latin America.” Interesting timing, I thought, considering the firestorm of media attention turned toward the caravan of Central American migrants and asylum seekers this week. My heart has grown more and more burdened as I see words like “onslaught”, “invasion”, and “horde” used to describe these families, while I’m also learning that Central American countries like El Salvador and Honduras have rates of violent crime second only to Syria.Read More
I was loving my neighbor, but I hated myself. What I really needed to learn was how to love myself as I loved my neighbor. I needed to learn to extend the same compassion to my own broken body as I strived to do for others. I needed to learn that the grace I offered to everyone else when they needed to rest was also available to me. If I couldn’t learn how to love myself, I soon wouldn’t have anything left to love my neighbor.Read More
Over the past week, the news has been dominated by Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate confirmation for the Supreme Court. But while the country is focused on this important issue, another significant one may pass by unnoticed.
Today, September 30, marks the end of the Federal Fiscal Year. At this time each year, the U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program resets and the President decides how many refugees will be accepted into the U.S. for the following year. But this year, due to the Supreme Court nomination, the decision on refugee resettlement has been delayed. Why is this the case? Well, here’s what the Supreme Court nomination and refugee resettlement have in common.Read More
If you have visited this little corner of the internet before, you probably knew it as FaithandForcedMigration.com. For several years I wrote here almost exclusively about refugees and immigration, and how Christians can respond biblically to the challenges of forced migration in the world. You can find links to a lot of those thoughts organized on my resource page.
Recently, though, life experiences have led me to expand the boundaries of what I discuss through the words I write here. I have lived with fibromyalgia a chronic pain condition, since I was 16, and along with it has come challenges with anxiety and depression. I believe this messiness in my own story gives me a unique perspective on the world, and I am convinced to keep chasing beauty in the midst of difficulty.Read More