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Refugee Crisis Resources

Christ Church of Oak Brook will be hosting Rich Stearns, President of World Vision U.S., on July 16/17, 2016 to hear more about the Refugee Crisis. Rich will be preaching in all services both Saturday and Sunday.  

Please browse below for resources regarding the Refugee Crisis including book suggestions, helpful web articles, videos, and downloadable materials.  

Rich Stearns

As president of World Vision U.S., Rich Stearns calls Christians to action on the greatest needs of our day. His award-winning, best-selling book, The Hole in Our Gospel, has encouraged hundreds of thousands of readers to open their hearts to those who are hurting in our world.

Driven by his passion to raise awareness and support for poverty and justice issues, Rich is also the author of Unfinished: Filling the Hole in Our Gospel. He appears regularly as a commentator on news outlets ranging from FOX News to Huffington Post and speaks at churches and conferences around the country.

The former CEO for Parker Brothers Games and Lenox, Rich holds a B.A. from Cornell University and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Following a calling from God, he resigned from Lenox in 1998, leaving behind more than 20 years of experience in corporate America to become World Vision’s U.S. president.

Rich provided strong leadership in calling on the Church in America to respond to the global AIDS pandemic. Today he continues to leverage his influence by boldly calling churches to engage with the Syria refugee crisis and follow Jesus into the hurting places of our world. 

Rich and his wife, Reneé, live in Bellevue, Washington, and have five children and three grandchildren.

Refugee Crisis Resources

Seeking Refuge (2016) – Stephen Bauman, Matthew Soerens, Issam Smeir

The world is witnessing its worst refugee crisis in recorded history, and the videos and images that have surfaced are harrowing. Many of us wonder how we can help, but at the same time we are nervous—we want to be compassionate, but we are concerned about the risks.

Seeking Refuge speaks right into that tension. It explores the salient issues and dilemmas, the theological and moral arguments, the economic costs and benefits of welcoming refugees, and more. Informed by real stories from refugee communities around the world, Seeking Refuge will equip you for a compassionate response to refugees and other displaced peoples, one that displays God’s redeeming power to a broken world.

The church has an opportunity to lead out on one of the most important issues of our time. Someday our Lord will say, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me...” Will he be talking about us?



Welcoming the Stranger (2009) – Jennie Yang, Matthew Soerens

Immigration is one of the most complicated issues of our time. Voices on all sides argue strongly for action and change. Christians find themselves torn between the desire to uphold laws and the call to minister to the vulnerable.

In this book Matthew Soerens and Jenny Hwang move beyond the rhetoric to offer a Christian response to immigration. They put a human face on the issue and tell stories of immigrants' experiences in and out of the system. With careful historical understanding and thoughtful policy analysis, they debunk myths and misconceptions about immigration and show the limitations of the current immigration system. Ultimately they point toward immigration reform that is compassionate, sensible and just, as they offer concrete ways for you and your church to welcome and minister to your immigrant neighbors.



Hole in our Gospel (2010) – Rich Stearns

Is our faith only about going to church, studying the Bible, and avoiding the most serious sins—or does God expect more? Have we embraced the whole gospel or a gospel with a hole in it?

Fifteen years ago Rich Stearns came face-to-face with that question as he sat in a mud hut in Rakai, Uganda, listening to the heartbreaking story of an orphaned child. Stearns’s journey tore him out of his corner office at one of America’s most prestigious corporations to walk with the poorest of the poor in our world.

Stearns’s compelling story demonstrates that the whole gospel was always meant to be a world-changing, social revolution, a revolution that begins with each one of us. This autobiographical account also features many statistics and scripture citations on poverty, justice, faith in action, and more.



He walks Among Us (2013) – Rich and Renee Stearns

We often separate ourselves from people who are different from us, sometimes even intentionally. This book is a great reminder of all the things we share in common—hopes, dreams, heartaches—and most important of all, it reminds us that He walks among us. All of us. This book offers great perspective from our brothers and sisters around the world. 

Rich and Reneé Stearns have traveled the world visiting the most poverty-stricken habitations imaginable, and they’ve discovered an amazing and common occurrence among the people who live there: joy can be found no matter how dire your circumstances. He Walks Among Us is a 90-day devotional giving readers an up-close and personal view of Christ in the lives of mothers, fathers, and children who have so little, yet are so rich in His spirit and love. Christians who are interested in or committed to missionary outreach will encounter the transforming power and courage needed to make a difference in someone else’s life. 


He Walks Among Us also features the award-winning photography of World Vision® photographer Jon Warren.


  • International Association for Refugees is seeking the welfare of forcibly displaced people together with the church; connecting local churches along the Refugee Highway (including refugee churches) with the church-at-large in ways that promote their welfare and help them further the kingdom of God in their context.
  • These moving photos of the refugee crisis won a Pulitzer Prize this year by documenting just some of the struggles that refugees are facing as they flee war-torn regions of the Middle East.
  • Humans of New York, by author and photographer Brandon Stanton, explored the lives of Syrian Refugees who have been allowed to resettle in the United States, and then spent 10 days traveling through Europe to document the current Refugee Crisis sweeping through Europe.
  • Time magazine published a powerful article chronicling the two year refugee journey of a Syrian family from Daraa, Syria, to Dallas, Texas.
  • Two journalists from the Washington Post went to Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon to report on the Syrian refugee crisis, one of the largest forced migrations of people since World War II. Their goal was to document the size and complexity of the crisis, showing its effects on the lives of individual refugees as well as the lasting impacts on the countries hosting them, breaking the crisis down into 18 personal stories of a wide range of refugees. They saw terrible misery and inspiring stories of resilience and survival, and hope this will further an understanding of one of the most daunting human crises in recent memory.
  • We Welcome Refugees exists to empower the global Church to be a key agent of hope and compassion in the Middle East refugee crisis.