How Can We Respond To The Events In Afghanistan?
Lift up combat veterans, refuges in worship and prayer while we await ways our United Methodist system can respond
The images of Afghans seeking rescue at the Kabul Airport have shocked the globe. The Taliban’s lightning takeover of Afghanistan has brought to a head the real threat of repression or death to ethnic and religious minorities, women and girls, and former U.S. allies. In addition, combat veterans and others who served or whose loved ones served in Afghanistan feel many responses to the news coming out of the country. Some feel a sense of betrayal, numbness or despair. Some are wrestling with stories and images that those who haven’t served cannot fully comprehend.
Each of us will need to prayerfully wrestle with the meaning of our country’s invasion and nation-building effort in Afghanistan. In the meantime, there are ways we can help.
- Afghan Refugees: Tens of thousands of refugees are expected to flee Afghanistan to seek refuge from Taliban reprisals and repressions. Please continue to pray for their safety and listen for updates on ways to help. Various countries have stepped-up to offer safety. While we await ways our United Methodist system can respond, our full-communion partner – the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America – is preparing to help settle at least 2,500 Afghan translators and their families. How can you show hospitality to the stranger and refugee in the name of God? You can find out how to help at their website: Lutheran Immigration & Refugee Services
- Veterans and Families: Reach out to friends who number among the more than 700,000 veterans who served in Afghanistan. Connect with those whose loved ones died because of the war. Lift up combat veterans as well as the people of Afghanistan in worship and prayer opportunities. Take them coffee or drop off a care package. This article from the Department of Veterans Affairs shares ways veterans of Afghanistan are learning from Vietnam veterans, as well as ways to seek help for veterans.
Published: Tuesday, August 17, 2021