Gospel News · January - April 2015

Resettlement of our Refugee Brethren ~ The Purpose of my Appeals
| Sis Esther Worrell (Canada)
he purpose of my appeals is to inform as
many as possible in the brotherhood that
there are brethren residing in refugee camps,
and alerting them to the undesirable condi-
tions under which they live. I was quite
shocked when I learned this information a
few years ago after reading an appeal from
one brother to be resettled away from that
environment. Upon enquiry I then understood
that CBM was involved with them, and was
relieved that they were not entirely on their
own. CBM personnel were too busy to provide
information, and I did not feel comfortable to
turn away, doing nothing, with the knowledge
of this distressing situation. I also felt that
had any of my relatives been living there, I
would have had to do my part too, to get
them out. Hence my appeals.
My suggestion then and still is, that we should
get together to:
Initiate an ongoing resettlement
program specifically geared towards
moving our brethren out of these camps
to stable regions in their own country,
ideally close to established ecclesias.
Because of the magnitude of this under-
taking, and the fact that we are all brothers
and sisters, I do feel that we, who are
willing, should all join in the implementation
of this program, and it should not be left to
one group.
Most importantly, this is a practical way of
applying the second greatest commandment –
“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”,
hence we can therefore approach this with
the confidence that our Heavenly Father
gave His only Son also for them as His
children, and will therefore bless and
empower our efforts, if we involve Him,
beginning and carrying out this matter in
prayer. As shown in numerous scriptural
examples, He will take over this project,
perfect it and bring it to the desirable
Other suggestions put forward, must involve,
above anything else, getting our brethren
out of those camps. The reason for this
priority is that generally, our brethren are
entirely dependent on various organizations
for their upkeep in the kind of living
conditions that we would find quite unbear-
able, with no control over their lives,
because they are not permitted to work to
maintain themselves. There are families with
children in this horrendous situation, (babies
in dire conditions in refugee camps) elderly
brothers and sisters who would find this
physically taxing, younger sisters and
brothers exposed to the kinds of abuse that
exist in these environments.
I was told by a brother, a father of a refugee
family, that the stress of living under these
conditions, and at times the fear of random
outburst of violence that occur in the very
camps, disintegration of family life resulting
from the desperation of need, were consid-
ered the cause of the early deaths of many
unable to cope, and he told me he felt that
had he and his family not been rescued from
their condition at that time, he did not think
he would have survived for as long as two
more years. He was then in his early forties.
His advice is as follows - “I think the best way
to help brethren should be to work out a
durable solution so that they can resettle
somewhere and work for their living. My case
is a good illustration; like a troubled sea, I
went from country to country without rest,
but now I am settled and my children can go
to school and I can serve my Lord.”
Providentially this family was resettled in
what is considered an undeveloped country
and by working diligently at helping them-
selves, and assisted by the ecclesias around
them, has done remarkably well in their new
The following are thoughts and fears recently
expressed by some of our brethren in the
“As we look around at our present situation,