Coming Winter 2018
Many times over, humanity has faced crossroads and watershed moments. In a world ravaged by wars and rumors of wars, we have the greatest refugee crisis ever recorded. According to the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees, “wars, conflict and persecution have forced more people than at any other time since records began to flee their homes and seek refuge and safety elsewhere… Globally, one in every 122 humans is now either a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum. If this were the population of a country, it would be the world’s 24th biggest.”
As burgeoning crises and wars find their way closer to our doorstep than we are comfortable with, our guts respond with fear and self-preservation. We have conversations with others that solidify our sense of rightness, for after all, don’t we have the right to protect our families?
Author Nicole Watts is approaching a decade of working and living among resettling refugees from Bhutan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Somalia, Burma/Myanmar, Syria, Rwanda and around the world. Together with the team from Hopeprint, the organization she founded in 2010, their homes and lives are postured faithfully with open arms to newly arriving men, women and children in their community. As she has journeyed with families she welcomed at the airport, from arrival to raising their hands to take the oath of citizenship, the wars and rumors of wars that used to feel distant now feel personal.
In Our Tribe(s): Practicing Remembrance and Redemption of our Kindred People, Nicole delves into this deeply conflicting space of how we prioritize our allegiances, as people of a nation or members of the human tribe. As an American, Nicole recounts our national story, and the many cultures and peoples that mark its pages. As a follower of Jesus, Nicole guides the reader in wrestling with the implications of faith in welcoming the stranger. As kindred human, Nicole beckons us to a posture of repentance, vulnerability, watchfulness and love in life and shared community - the posture of open arms.
This is not a question for tomorrow. It is a crisis of today. Who is your tribe? Where will you stand?
"...There we stood between those two key places at the southernmost tip of Manhattan: the site of the 9/11 attacks and Lady Liberty. As we walked back and forth again, I found myself ruminating on the way they reflect the struggle our nation faces today. Do we declare to the world, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breath free, the wretched refuge of your teeming shore; send these, the homeless, tempest most to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door?” Or do we declare to the world, 'We are full.'"