By Melissa Wuske
Christians Act with Compassion Toward Refugees
While the news is often filled with rhetoric about the dangers of refugees and calls to close the nation’s borders, some evangelical Christians are living out a different story. “It’s not unusual that we have politicians timid in the face of fear. But the task of the church is a different one,” said Dr. Russell D. Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. “The church is called to see the image of God in all people and to minister Christ’s presence to all people. That’s what churches are doing.”
William Stocks is a 23-year-old who attends a church that is working with a World Relief refugee resettlement program. He teaches English to Anwar and Daleen who are Syrian refugees. “My job is to serve these people,” he said, “because they need to be served.” Stocks, who works in construction, does his best to teach English as well as help his friends navigate the challenges of life in a new place. Stocks and others have made a real difference for refugees like Anwar and Daleen, who hear negative messages in the news about their plight. Their English is improving, and the couple has been able to navigate the health care system to get a needed surgery for Anwar. “I have been here for four months,” Anwar said, “and I have seen nothing except goodness.”
Pamela Anderson Against Pornography
The latest voice in the fight against pornography comes from an unexpected place: former Playboy model Pamela Anderson. In an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, Anderson and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach describe porn as “a public hazard of unprecedented seriousness.” The piece calls for an end to the cultural “experiment in mass debasement” that has “corrosive effects on a man’s soul and on his ability to function as husband and, by extension, as father.” Together they beg society and individuals to stand against explicit content now: “How many families will suffer? How many marriages will implode?”
Persecuted Family Finds a Home
Dmitry Shestakov, a minister in Uzbekistan, spent four years in a labor camp hundreds of miles from his family for leading a congregation of Christians. Upon his release, he spent two years back at home, where he was required to get government permission to even leave his house. The restrictions, coupled with the death threats he received, prompted him and his family to flee the country.
The family went first to Ukraine, and now, after three years of waiting, Shestakov, his wife, and two of his daughters are beginning a new life in Florida after being granted asylum. The family extends their heartfelt thanks for the practical and spiritual support they received from Voice of the Martyrs and believers around the world.
Lunch with a New Friend
A group of Florida State University football players was visiting a local middle school when Travis Rudolph, one of the team’s wide receivers, joined a boy he noticed who was eating lunch alone.
Bo, the young boy, has autism and doesn’t have many connections with his peers. A school staff member sent Bo’s mom a picture of the pair eating together, and she was moved: “I’m not sure what exactly made this incredibly kind man share a lunch table with my son. . . . This is one day I didn’t have to worry if my sweet boy ate lunch alone, because he sat across from someone who is a hero in many eyes.”
Melissa Wuske is a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband, Shawn, live and minister in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Find her work online (melissaannewuske.com).