It was almost a decade ago that then Senator Barack Obama published his political memoir The Audacity of Hope. Over the past decade, there have been so many events, both domestic and worldwide, that have put that vision of hope to the test—a global financial meltdown, persistent global terrorism, and terrible natural disasters. There’s a lot of hard realities of injustice in the world today, not the least of which is the global refugee crisis.
But the challenges of the world can’t scuff hope. At least not real hope.
Political slogans aside, hope is one of the most profound currencies of faith. It’s right up there with love (Corinthians 13:13) and it’s why a bunch of us from ONE will be hanging out at Together 2016 this weekend.
Together 2016 is all about Jesus and the power he brings to reset a generation. Together is declaring a reset from division to unity, from apathy to action, from fear to hope. The last time Jesus walked on the earth, it caused a pretty big reset—so big that even the skeptical Romans noticed how the poor and vulnerable people who lived in community with the early Christians were taken care of so quickly (See Acts 4:31-35 and Tertullian’s writing).
Today one of the most vulnerable groups of people is undoubtedly refugees, and particularly refugee children. Jesus knows a thing or two about being a refugee kid, since his family fled the violence of King Herod before his first birthday. Egypt took him and his family in, and the world was different for it.
Today, there are 21.3 million refugees around the world, and Jesus is close to each of them. This weekend at Together 2016, we’re going to show President Obama that the Church stands unified with these people in crisis. In 2015, the world saw more than 3.5 million refugee children miss out on education. What’s the impact of that missing year? It means fewer doctors, lawyers, and entrepreneurs. In the long run, missing out on education limits both their, and our, potential to flourish.
That’s why we are standing with partner organizations and taking action as the Global Church in calling for education for all refugee children—because we believe in the dignity of those children who’ve been forced to flee their homes. President Obama knows that hope makes a difference, and that’s why we’re asking him to make a way for hope to thrive for refugees through education.
So if you’re in DC this weekend, come down to the Mall (right by the Washington Monument). We’ll be out there proclaiming hope and pushing for real action to make education a reality for the millions of kids who deserve an opportunity to flourish.