IT is difficult not to feel anxious or overwhelmed as news of the war on Ukraine continues to dominate our headline, isn’t it?
I have been so moved to hear of countries such as Poland, Hungary, Romania, Moldova and even the South of Ireland open up their borders to provide a safe place for the many refugees.
However, it is alarming that in the midst of approximately 1.7 million refugees, the UK Government (to date) have only issued 50 visas. Yes, you read that correctly – 50 visas. I think it is safe to say that the UK Government are not ‘Leading the World’ with regards to humanitarian response. Rather, it would appear that the rich are getting richer, while the poor are getting poorer.
Let’s remember, this is the same UK Government who back in September 2021 said “Turn back the boats” when speaking of the precious refugees attempting to cross the English Channel seeking safety.
• Sometimes, words fail me.
• Sometimes, I feel overwhelmed by all that’s happening.
• Sometimes, I feel helpless.
• Sometimes, I have more questions than answers.
The blatant lack of compassion and kindness reveals the true nature of some world leaders. I truly believe that the greatness of any country or leader is evidenced by how we treat our neighbour, especially when they are in crisis, whether it be our Ukrainian neighbour, or our often forgotten Palestinian, Syrian or Yemeni neighbours.
As usual, it is the people at the grassroots who are reddening the faces of their leaders and leading the way as they take to the streets to protest against the war, collecting and delivering humanitarian aid, offering their time to help, or opening up their homes to the displaced, to the broken and to the weary.
We cannot claim to be people of faith while at the same time neglecting the ‘least of these.’ Welcoming the stranger isn’t a political burden, it is a gospel imperative. I hope and pray the UK government extend their arms of welcome. Meanwhile, there are practical ways we can help. Why not consider donating to organisations who are appealing for donations? Also, let’s keep challenging and pressing our politicians to do more. Blessed are those who open their borders and welcome refugees.