While politicians and talking heads debate the refugee crisis, the founder of a refugee outreach ministry says they are focused on reaching out to the oppressed and fulfilling the Great Commission.
Samira Izadi Page and her family fled Iran about 18 years ago. She says a church in Dallas, Texas, came alongside them and now they are all believers and involved in Christian ministry.
Page founded Gateway to Grace about five years ago, and now it's the largest refugee ministry in the region, with 50 church partners across denominational lines. She tells OneNewsNow refugees are not here by accident – God has a plan for them.
"His love does not distinguish where they are from or their nationality,” she says. “God's love is for everybody - and to allow them to heal and to recover from some of the trauma, that is an opportunity we cannot miss."
Some are criticizing leaders in Texas for what is perceived as a lack of compassion for attempting to temporarily halt settlement of Syrian refugees. However, statistics show that the Lone Star State has welcomed more refugees than any other state over the last five years.
While the debate on whether to bring in Syrian refugees continues, Page says her ministry is focused on being a neighbor to those in need. "When they connect with a real person, a real Christian who actually cares about them, that is much more powerful because it's real," she says.
Page's group is partnering with churches in north Texas this Christmas, hosting a gathering later this week to share with refugees the true meaning of the season. More than 200 refugees, their families and volunteers are expected to be on hand.