Ordinary 23

Vicar’s Reflection: 6 Sept 2015, OS 23

“Refugee, n.: Pronunciation: Brit. /ˌrɛfjᵿˈdʒiː/ gen. A person who has been forced to leave his or her home and seek refuge elsewhere, esp. in a foreign country, from war, religious persecution, political troubles, the effects of a natural disaster, etc.; a displaced person.” (OED). This is the correct term for the people flooding into Europe right now. The cost to them is horrendous. Many lived just like us short weeks ago: going to work, to school, shopping in the local market; cooking meals and getting on with life. Suddenly that all changed when men with guns arrived and started shooting people because their daughters where at school or the women did not wear a full burka, or the men did not swear allegiance to some local warlord. My father became a refugee to NZ when he and his family all faced a similar situation in the Ukraine in 1939. New Zealand along with other countries generously opened their borders to refugees then. As a result my father found a home and raised a family and I and my siblings came into the world. I am very grateful. The leaders of the Anglican and Catholic churches have written to the Prime Minister urging an increase in the number of refugees to our country as a response to this crisis. In their letter they say that “Catholic and Anglican communities throughout the country will step up to provide support and assistance to those our country offers refuge.” I hope this will be true. Alex Czerwonka

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