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Radical Welcome for Ukraine and for All

Radical Welcome for Ukraine and for All

We've been reflecting quite a bit on our social media pages about the latest refugee crisis the world is witnessing as a result of Russian military forces invading Ukraine, but realized that these conversations were not accessible to those of you who connect with us in other ways. We've compiled some of our thoughts here and are eager to continue engaging with our community about this and many other current events that remind us why being people of radical welcome is so important.

 

Here, in this city of ours, are thousands of neighbors who have experienced the unrest, loss, and profound grief as the personal cost of war. Conflict that they didn’t choose. Days of normalcy, robust careers, meals around their tables turning into fleeing, leaving everything behind in a matter of moments. We long for a world where this isn’t so and recognize how the news of today hits differently when you’ve experienced it yourself.

Our hearts and minds grieve with the people of Ukraine as they wait and wonder, as they grip their children in the subways and hope for a brighter day tomorrow. Fear unimaginable. We think of past program members and friends whose family and friends are living this reality tonight. We hold hope for peace and rest for those who are weary and afraid.

The war in Ukraine has allowed us to witness once again the horror of leaving the life you know to flee from violence and oppression. We see the immensity of this with millions losing everything in a matter of a week, crossing borders and needing others to welcome them.

And yet we know that stories of displacement have been and are playing out across the world and have received varying degrees of attention from Western media.

The same fears and losses being expressed by Ukrainians displaced by violence in recent weeks are also experienced by over 82 million people who were displaced before this latest violence in Europe. So while Ukraine has captured our attention and is rightly causing us to grieve for these precious people, let us remember that millions of families have suffered similar losses and require international attention. And, if they find themselves in our community, they deserve our very best, our most sincere, committed welcome. They have endured more than we could imagine. Oh, how we long for them to find a sense of belonging and home again.

Global crises have a way of making us feel powerless. We are not on those borders helping people across, we are not on the banks of the sea brining people to shore, but where we are has its own invitation. May we see our new neighbors in the fullness of their stories. This work of welcome requires something of each of us, to use our time, influence, voice and financial means to invest into leaders and solutions that will continue to transform our communities into places of belonging. 
 
If you are looking to make an investment right here in West Michigan into the cultivation of a community rooted in mutuality, where everyone has the opportunity to belong, we invite you to join us in monthly giving. We have never been an organization longing to be funded by any one major donor, but deeply believe that each gift also carries with it a commitment to live into the Treetops values wherever you find yourself and that is how we hope to build this collective.