(Note: We now have a closed Facebook group for people interested in BOCC but who do not feel ready to be directly connected with a persecuted Christian or refugee. You can apply to join it by clicking here)
Thank you for considering being willing to share your life with a brother or sister in Christ, living for Jesus in the midst of great persecution or as a refugee who has fled persecution. As a part of the church, a member of the body of Christ, you can be used by God to be a blessing to someone who may be far away and living in different circumstances, but at the same time is still one with you because of the Holy Spirit who lives in you both.
As you begin this new connection, we've prepared these tips we think that will be helpful for you:
- Many refugees have fled to countries where they are not allowed to work and face prison if they do, all the while needing money for rent, food, medicinal care and a working phone to connect with others. As you chat with a refugee, we hope they will make their needs known to you for prayer. As you chat with a refugee, we hope they will make their needs known to you for prayer. If you are asked to pray for rent or grocery money, that is exactly what they are asking we do. It is NOT a round-about-way to ask you for money. They are not beggars. Having said that, in some cases we may be able to be the answer to their prayers. Other times, we need to pray asking God to raise up someone to provide for them. This will stretch our faith, and that is a very good thing. Feeling forgotten and disconnected is a huge, emotional burden for them and your prayers and connection will help them greatly. If you reach a point where you wish to send financial help to your connection, you may do so through this link.
- Your connection will not be like the periodic, positive interactions people have with the children they sponsor in child sponsorship programs. Be prepared for more regular interactions and communications which will cover the gambit of inspiring and rejoicing to sorrow and concern. The stories and ongoing suffering of your connection, combined with an inability to help or make improvements for them in most of their major needs, will add a burden to your lives along with the blessings that will come as well.
- Your connection may not speak English very well. In fact they may speak very little English and may also be relying on online tools such as Google Translate to convert what they type into English for you. When interacting, this sometimes requires great patience and slowness to judge. For instance, while chatting the simple message, "Are you there, answer me" may come across as very abrupt or demanding when in reality they simply meant to ask, "Are you still there?" Remember too that sometimes when we think we have communicated very clearly, we might be misunderstood - again especially by someone who is not a native English speaker.
- Don't be discouraged if you don't hear from your connection for a few days. It may be an issue of time zones, or power outages, or lack of data. Also, just as we have good days and bad days, your connection does too. They may also be busy, unwell, or perhaps overwhelmed by what is going on in their lives. You can still drop them a note to say you are praying for them.