Tag Archives: Ethiopia

Many may feel there is little reason to give thanks this Thanksgiving Holiday

For more than two years, our world is facing a period of distress, where many of us are also challenged by difficulties to do our work and to have contact with others.

Several church groups probably will have the same questions as we receive and have to give reasons for their members to continue in the faith. In many church communities, these days are normally of good cheer, lovely family time and time to thank God.

Several people now wonder if they can rejoice in God no matter their circumstances. For many, it is clear that they are not enjoying a glorious or nice time. Some have lost their job and income, and once more they are facing a new lockdown.

We may not forget it was not always a delightful time for people of God. Can you imagine it must have been when they were used as slaves in Egypt and on top of that they had to cope with several plagues. They, too, lived in a time when not so many wanted to worship the One True God.

Ramses II, like all the pharaohs, claimed to be divine. Because he did not want to let Israel go, Jehovah set the stage for a long struggle between this distrustful ruler with an outsize ego and a prophet with a new understanding of Jehovah and His Power.

The flow of the White Nile is fairly even throughout the year because of consistent equatorial rains. The Blue Nile, on the other hand, originating in the headwaters of the Ethiopian highlands at the time Moses was bargaining with Ramses, got very high and wild by excessively heavy summer rains in Ethiopia. That flow washed powdery, carmine-red soil from the slopes of the hills. Around the Lake Tana region the blood-red torrent picked up bright red algae (known as flagellates) and their bacteria. Since there were no dams at that time, the Nile flowed blood-red all the way to the Mediterranean. It probably reached the delta region in August. Thus, this rare natural event, it is held, set in motion a series of conditions that continued until the following March. Nature seemed to have lost its course, and people got bullied by plagues of the frogs, gnats and mosquitoes.

Further, there were times men of God, like Moses, David, Elijah, and Isaiah had no easy time. With ups and downs in their life, they tried to keep their faith and trusted God, praying to Him for His Help and comfort. Some, like David felt miserable at a certain time, but knew it was better to fall in the hands of God than in the hands of those who think they own the world.

“David said to Gad,

“I am in deep distress. Let me fall into the hands of the LORD, for his mercy is very great; but do not let me fall into the hands of men.”” (1Ch 21:13 NIV)

Yes it is even known that we as human beings can come in a time of inevitable distress.

“Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.” (Job 5:7 NIV)

“”Man born of woman is of few days and full of trouble.” (Job 14:1 NIV)

We should know that our life will not always as easy as we would love it to be. Even those who seem to be so strong shall have to face moments of weakness and of difficulties.

“All his days his work is pain and grief; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless.” (Ec 2:23 NIV)

“If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!” (Pr 24:10 NIV)

“You have shown your people desperate times; you have given us wine that makes us stagger.” (Ps 60:3 NIV)

“The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow.” (Ps 116:3 NIV)

Today there are lots of people who came to blame God for what is happening to this world today. Job saw likewise but refused to blame God.

“In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.” (Job 1:22 NIV)

When looking at our present situations, we should think of all those people who are living under the open air, in hot but also very cold conditions, not having enough food, having babies crying of hunger and pain. How many in our world of plentiful think of those in the poor countries and of those who have to live in places where wars are already such a long time part of their life.
When they would think more about them, they would see how blessed they really are. What if we would consider this Corona plague as once again testing from God?

“2 “If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales! 3 It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas—no wonder my words have been impetuous.” (Job 6:2-3 NIV)

“For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver.” (Ps 66:10 NIV)

“All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every morning.” (Ps 73:14 NIV)

Russian icon of the prophet Habakkuk

An 18th-century Russian icon of the prophet Habakkuk, member of the tribe of Levi, (Iconostasis of Transfiguration Church, Kizhi monastery, Karelia, Russia)

Those men of God complained also at certain moments, but they also found time to thank God for all the good He also had done for them. In ancient times, the professional prophet of the Temple from the 7th century bce (probably between 605–597 bce) Habakkuk at a time when there did not come the necessary blossoms on the trees, no fruit on the vines and the produce of the olive failed, he and the people were in distress because the fields yielded no food.

“17 Though the fig-tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, (Hab 3:17 NIV)

Even when the flock was cut off from the fold, and there was no herd in the stalls, he knew from Who all the good things came forward. Overlooking what was going on, he recognised it all was not so bad as to what others had to endure. Therefore, he was willing to rejoice in the Most High and was willing to exult in the God of his salvation.

18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Saviour. (Hab 3:18 NIV)

Also in this period of a pandemia we should look up to the Elohim Hashem Jehovah, the Most Powerful God, Who is our strength and can make our feet light and swift  like the feet of a deer, so that we can tread upon the heights.

Habakuk sang and played cheerful music to the leader with stringed instruments.

19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. For the director of music. On my stringed instruments.” (Hab 3:19 NIV)

Habakkuk had wrestled with his God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah, and struggled with the realisation that this Unique and Only One God was going to use the godless Chaldeans to judge his people Judah for their rebellion. Habakkuk’s struggle was ultimately one of wrestling with God.

Today some people also have that feeling, but they should know it has no use to battle with God. One is better to battle with the world, and go in against all that keep claiming one has not to be vaccinated or one has not to protect oneself against the Coronavirus.

What we need more than anything in life today is renewed vision of God and to see things from God’s eye’s point of view. We should accept that He has given man the possibilities to battle this virus, so we should trust those scientists and be thankful that they can be instruments in the hands of God. Likewise, we should be thankful that all the medic staff can be an instrument in the hands of God. Out of respect to them and to the Divine Creator, we should protect ourselves and others, avoiding getting infected.

In the past, more than one man, prophet, king or judge, appointed by God trembled. More than once, those men of God knew for Whom to look and Whom to trust. Even when it took longer than they had hoped, they were willing to wait and to be patient. They found the power to wait on the Highest.

The prophet Isaiah knew what God had already done for His people and what He was still going to do. He also did not have it always easy, but he relied on God.

This Thanksgiving Day let us pray to our God and express our thankfulness for being with us in these difficult times.

“You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall” (Isa 25:4 NIV)

Giving thanks to God helps us do just that.

 

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Preceding

Facing our existence every day

Many opportunities given by God

Time to be strengthened, thankful and to be prepared

Are you doing Thanksgiving

Altitude begins with an attitude of gratitude

The Gift of Giving

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Additional reading

  1. What is life? (Our World) = What is life? (Some View on the World)
  2. The time of year we remember our many blessings
  3. 2016 Thanksgiving and politics (Our world) = 2016 Thanksgiving and politics (Some View on the World)
  4. Give your worries to God (Our World) = Give your worries to God (Some View on the World)
  5. Life in gratitude opens glory of God (Our world)Life in gratitude opens glory of God (Some View on the World)
  6. Beginning of a festival of lights
  7. Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah
  8. Thanksgivukkah and Advent
  9. Coming to Thanksgiving day 2020
  10. Good time to sort out your friends and contacts
  11. Left in the dark or being in the dark seeing light
  12. Making sure to be ready and to belong to the escaped ones
  13. Fragments from the Book of Job #2: chapters 12-20
  14. Fragments from the Book of Job #4: chapters 27-31
  15. Ability (part 6) Thought about the ability of God’s Provision Bringing Glory (Our World) =
  16. Ability (part 6) Thought about the ability of God’s Provision Bringing Glory
  17. The chosen ones to fear or not to fear (Our World) = The chosen ones to fear or not to fear (Some View on the world)
  18. Signs of the Last Days
  19. In Coronatime thinking about death
  20. Today’s thought “When in need of encouragement” (May 18)
  21. Today’s Thought “Leaving you an example” (June 12)
  22. Today’s thought “Rooted and built up in him” (November 14)
  23. Today’s thought “The grace of God … training us” (November 27)
  24. Today’s thought “Crying to God” (August 04)
  25. If your difficulties are longstanding, try kneeling (Our World)If your difficulties are longstanding, try kneeling (Some View on the World)
  26. God my fence, my hope for the future (Our World)God my fence, my hope for the future (Some View on the World)
  27. Prayers for Rulers
  28. Thanks for our fathers
  29. Let them thank the Lord for …
  30. Thanking God by thinking of people (Our World) = Thanking God by thinking of people
  31. Give thanks to יהוה! For He is good, For His kindness is everlasting
  32. Bring praise to the Creator
  33. Praise and give thanks to God the Most Highest
  34. Always rejoicing Praying constantly Giving thanks for everything
  35. Praise Jehovah, ​You people

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Related

  1. When does physical stress become toxic? – Eustress & Distress –
  2. What is Distress? A 11-step guide to what distress is and how it can help you manage it.
  3. Confused about which way to go?
  4. A little less… stress.
  5. If God is Real, Why Does He Allow Bad Things to Happen?
  6. The Changing Seasons and The Unchangeable God
  7. Every day
  8. King of the Valley
  9. “Have Mercy On Me, O Lord, For I Am Weak” #2368
  10. God Is Our Safe Haven, A Place to rest our hearts
  11. My Father!
  12. Nov 8 May the Truth set us free
  13.  November 18 – Fully Sufficient
  14. Thanksgiving Boulevard
  15. God, Grace, and Gratitude

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UNHCR recommends measures for strengthening security and refugee protection

Flag of United Nations Refugee AgencyUNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards to whom quoted text may be attributed on 18 December 2015, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva released guidance aimed at helping States deal with security concerns while maintaining vital standards of refugee protection.

2015 was a horrible year for millions of people who had to leave their own habitat, trying to find places where they could find some peace. The number of forcibly displaced people worldwide will far surpass a record 60 million this year.

With almost a million people having crossed the Mediterranean as refugees and migrants so far this year, and conflicts in Syria and elsewhere continuing to generate staggering levels of human suffering, 2015 is likely to exceed all previous records for global forced displacement, the UN Refugee Agency warned in a new report today.

The global refugee total, which a year ago was 19.5 million, had as of mid-2015 passed the 20 million threshold (20.2 million) for the first time since 1992. Asylum applications meanwhile were up 78 per cent (993,600) over the same period in 2014. And the numbers of internally displaced people jumped by around 2 million to an estimated 34 million.

The report by the United Nations refugee agency says one in every 122 humans today is someone who has been forced to flee their homes.

It notes that the figure includes 20.2 million refugees, the highest total since 1992.

The report says the numbers were mainly driven by the Syrian war, conflict in Ukraine and other protracted conflicts.

Persian Gulf states, which were not a party to the 1951 treaty, have not accepted refugees despite sharing a common language and geographic proximity in the Arabian Peninsula. Lebanon meanwhile hosts more refugees compared to its population size than any other country, with 209 refugees per 1000 inhabitants. And Ethiopia pays most in relation to the size of its economy with 469 refugees for every dollar of GDP (per capita, at PPP). Overall, the lion’s share of the global responsibility for hosting refugees continues to be carried by countries immediately bordering zones of conflict, many of them in the developing world. The United States (and Canada) has limited Syrian refugees to about 1500 since that country’s war broke out in 2011. However, the United States has provided more than $4 billion in humanitarian aid and almost one-third of the more than $574 million provided for the refugees. Reshaping the Middle East Exact numbers on population shifts are difficult to determine because of the chaos in both Syria and Iraq. While some four million Syrians have fled the country, another 6 to 7 million have been internally displaced.

“Forced displacement is now profoundly affecting our times. It touches the lives of millions of our fellow human beings both those forced to flee and those who provide them with shelter and protection,”

High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said.

“Never has there been a greater need for tolerance, compassion and solidarity with people who have lost everything,”

he added.

Nearly 2.5 million asylum seekers have requests pending, with Germany, Russia and the United States receiving the highest numbers of the nearly one million new claims lodged in the first half of the year.

Currently, with growing polarization of political debate concerning refugees in some countries, the concern is that asylum-seekers and refugees could be victimized, and refugee protection which has saved the lives of millions of people since World War Two could be endangered.

Two important points to bear in mind here are that refugees are themselves fleeing persecution and violence, often including terrorist acts; and that the 1951 Refugee Convention explicitly excludes people who are combatants or who have committed serious crimes.

For us it is very difficult to know if between the refugees are also fighters or infiltrators. Lots of people are afraid that Muslim fundamentalists may also enter our regions that way. But this would be most likely. The conditions how the refugees enter our regions is so bad that the Muslim fundamentalists can use much better and more safely way to enter our countries.

With border controls, UNHCR understands the need of States to identify security concerns at the point of entry, for example through increased checks, including the use of biometrics such as fingerprints and iris scans. Its recommendations include practical guidance on ensuring that these and other measures are carried out properly and proportionately and subject to judicial control, and avoiding discrimination, for example based on nationality, race, ethnicity, or religion. Applications for asylum must be looked at individually.

With cases involving the exclusion of people for serious criminal or terrorist acts, the paper of the UNHCR recommends that a factual and legal assessment be done, if needed, by specialized exclusion units. Guidance is provided on this and related measures, including handling of extradition requests, and detention. It also notes that people providing funds to terrorist organizations could themselves be excluded from refugee status, depending on the individual circumstances.

Registration is a crucial part of the refugee protection process, and UNHCR believes that proper systems for this, plus identity and security screening are essential including in situations of large-scale refugee influxes. As refugees are people at risk of their lives, information-sharing between States has to be done in line with established principles and standards on data protection.

Resettlement and other forms of admission remain a key tool for providing refugees with safety and a solution to their plight. In light of today’s record number of forcibly displaced people globally some 60 million the paper makes the point that it is more crucial than ever that resettlement and other forms of admission remain viable and effective options for the international community in dealing with refugees.

Resettlement programmes are handled between UNHCR and receiving States, which in many cases invoke far tougher screening than for almost any other form of admission to a country. Nonetheless, and to assuage concerns, UNHCR’s recommendations include support for continuing security screening not least as effective resettlement programmes provide a regular and safe alternative to dangerous sea and other journeys that not only put refugee lives at risk, but also profit smugglers and make the jobs of border security forces even more difficult.

Arguably the biggest risk for any environment of insecurity is that of increasing xenophobia and vilification directed towards people fleeing violent conflicts. The paper calls on States to exert continued resolute leadership in de-dramatizing and de-politicizing the challenges associated with managing refugee flows.

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