Sermon Illustrations

Horror Stories from Refugees

Hushidah Bagam is 20. For two years now, she has lived in a squalid bamboo and corrugated iron hut in a Bangladesh refugee camp. But what she left behind in neighbouring Myanmar (formerly called Burma) was worse.

“The soldiers came to our village In the middle of the night, firing their guns. The men started to run away. They were afraid of being conscripted for hard labour. This always happens when the soldiers come ‘Three soldiers barged Into our house. They ordered everyone out except me. And then they took turns with me. I do not know how long they stayed, because I fell unconscious after a while. They took with them all our possessions. My family decided to leave. My father was afraid my other sisters would also be raped. Three months earlier, they had killed my husband.”

Maria, a refugee from a different part of the world, was roughly the same age as Hushidah when she also had to flee a step ahead of soldiers.

“My husband woke me in the middle of the night. He told me we had to leave right away. He had a warning that soldiers were coming. We could take only what we could carry. I wrapped the baby to keep him warm. We walked for days. Later, we heard what the soldiers did: they killed all the boy babies in our village. Where we live now, the food and the language are strange. My baby is growing up without knowing his home country. Built isn’t safe to go back, not yet.”

Does Maria’s story sound familiar? It ought to. Read Matthew 2:13-18.

Source: Hushidah’s story is abridged from “Afraid to Go Home,’ Refugees. July 1992. Published by the Office of the UNHCR.

From a sermon by Mike Wilkins, Our Refuge God, 1/12/2010

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