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This is not a program; it is who we are {how to help refugees}

By April 5, 2016 3 Comments

I think it’s so cool when people take their vacation and sick days to travel to Greece and hand out water and food. I often wish I could helicopter in and distribute coats. I wish I could hold and feed babies.

I admit feeling helpless when I hear about the 60 million displaced refugees around the world.

And it’s also easy for me to turn off the news, compartmentalize suffering, and head off to soccer practice.

This past weekend was General Conference, eight hours of talks by leaders of the our church. Funny how much I LOVE it now (really, eight HOURS???.) Instead of getting in the car on Sunday to go to church we get to watch from home (both Saturday AND Sunday!) It’s this awesomely spiritual down day.

With the help of cinnamon rolls, notebooks, and new sharpies 🙂 Cope saw these and said…”oh, I smell love.”unnamed-1

So we listened to talks by men and women who spend all the minutes of their day volunteering their time and energy to loving and serving others. Very inspiring.

The Relief Society is the women’s organization of the church and it is the largest women’s organization in the world. It’s purpose is just as it sounds: to provide relief to those in need. Once again there was a call to action – to help our brothers and sister refugees.

How to help? There was a new program announced called I Was a Stranger.

Citing information from the United Nations, Sister Burton (the Relief Society general president) said there are more than 60 million refugees worldwide and half of those are children.

The program doesn’t ask for us to fly to Greece or organize a huge relief drive (though those are awesome endeavors). “This is an opportunity to serve one-on-one, in families, and by organization to offer friendship, mentoring, and other Christlike service and is one of many ways sisters can serve.”

It reminded me of a friend who said to me, “You know, there are a lot of people who will fly across the world to help but won’t walk across the street to help their neighbor.”

I haven’t stopped thinking about that. It’s pretty simple, really. As we prayerfully seek guidance, I think we’ll be guided to just the right opportunity.

All the talks we heard were fantastic. You can watch HERE if you’re interested or just curious about what we Mormons sit around watching 🙂

But this talk by Patrick Kearon about refugees was especially great:

I’m thinking maybe I should just keep making cinnamon rolls…that would make someone happy, right???



  • Shirley says:

    That is for times the total membership of the Church. Overwhelming but we assist people one person ar a time. Everyone’s contribution of time, sevice, goods etc. makes a difference. Thanks , Amyfor sharing this.

  • Peter Nelson says:

    Thanks Amy. There are many of us who would like to help more. I am glad there is discussion like this. Keep it up!

  • Julia Tomiak says:

    Very inspiring. I think at this stage in our lives it’s important to be mindful of even the small ways we can reach out to people in our communities. I can’t go to Greece right now, but I can read with kids at the elementary school. With busy lives, it’s easy to forget about others, and I worry that I’m not doing enough to encourage my kids toward service. Thanks for this reminder.
    And, I’ll take a cinnamon roll, please. 😉

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