J Ron Byler
MCC U.S. Executive Director
RonByler@mcc.org

“And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’” (Matthew 25:40)

Having just experienced the Christmas season, it is easy to see the parallels in Ola and Omar’s story in “Not home yet” with the birth of our Savior. Jesus was a refugee too, born in Bethlehem, in a manger, with no room in the inn. And then we read Jesus’ words in Matthew 25, that when we welcome the stranger, we welcome Jesus.

In Jordan, Syrian refugee families like Ola and Omar’s have received thousands of comforters and hygiene and relief kits because of your commitment to welcome the stranger. MCC is working with its partners in Jordan to walk alongside these refugees. In this issue, you have an additional opportunity to respond to the Middle East crisis by supporting peacebuilding and relief efforts.

Through an MCC partner organization, Laith Eskander’s family received help when they fled from Iraq to Jordan. Now he is helping other Iraqi Christian and Muslim refugee families. Laith says that, as a Christian, he believes that Jesus is calling him to help all people, regardless of their religion.

In another story in this issue, we hear about Christians in eastern Congo who, in the midst of ongoing trauma and violence, continue reaching out to neighbors and newcomers who have lost their homes. MCC is supporting their efforts to provide shelter, food and health care, and the MCC U.S. Washington Office is helping us learn more about the root causes of this conflict, including the role of our own government.

Jesus’ call to welcome the stranger is reflected clearly in the actions of these Christians. And we, too, through MCC’s work around the world, can show hospitality to strangers and, by doing so, entertain angels (Hebrews 13:2).