Spiritual Refugees

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Sunday, December 18th

There are lots of times in life when we need a safe place: when we feel beaten down from the pace of life, when we feel we can’t live up to people’s expectations, when we’ve made a terrible mistake and have no place to turn, when we feel chained to an addiction or stuck in sinful patterns that hurt us and harm others. But where do we turn when we need a safe place?

Work through the following Scriptures and questions on your own, and get together with your running partner, Life Group or friends and family to talk through what you’re learning!


  1. Describe a time when you sought shelter from a storm or sought a refuge from trouble or harm. What were some characteristics of this place that made you feel safe?
  2. Do you consider the church to be a “spiritual harbor” — a safe place to assess hurts and begin to heal? Why or why not?
  3. Read Matthew 22:1-10. At Gateway, we routinely hear the message “Come As You Are.” Why is this an important value? What is something you can do to help support this value of the church?
  4. Read Psalm 46:1. How do you think we can experience the promise expressed in this verse even though God doesn’t manifest a physical presence?
  5. Read Hebrews 2:11. We’re also encouraged at Gateway to “Live Connected.” As a spiritual refugee, what is the advantage of knowing you have a spiritual family? What do you gain or can you gain by spending time in a Life Group?
  6. Read 1 Timothy 4:7-8. Not only does Gateway say “come as you are,” but also “don’t say that way.” You can grow and “Be Transformed!” Do you see yourself in training towards being more godly? Identify at least one way you will commit to spiritual training as you head into the new year.
  7. The fourth core value at Gateway is “Change Your World.” How may God be asking you to “get in the game” and commit towards helping either literal or spiritual refugees in your world?


  • Matthew 22:1-10
  • Psalm 46:1
  • Hebrews 2:11
  • 1 Timothy 4:7-8


Refugee Connect — Gateway partners with local organizations who help meet the physical, relational and spiritual needs of refugees right here in Austin! Listed here are some brief descriptions of the different serving opportunities. Learn more and let us know how you want to be involved at

  • HOPE CLINIC — Provides high quality healthcare to refugees and other under-served populations. Volunteer opportunities include medical & dental care, administrative & computer skills, hospitality & greeting.
  • TUTORING — Provide assistance to refugee children with homework and school projects on Monday nights.
  • PAPER MINISTRY — Help fill out all the forms and applications refugees need to get by 2X a month.
  • HOST A REFUGEE FAMILY — Assist refugees in acclimating to life here by helping them navigate the bus system and learning how to grocery shop.
  • SOS NEEDS LIST — Be a first responder to needs like food, clothing, diapers, furniture, rides and more for refugees by joining our SOS Needs Email List!
  • THE GIFT OF CLEAN — Purchase cleaning supplies 1X a month for a local Syrian family, which aren’t covered by food stamps given to them by the government.
  • QUARTERLY WOMEN’S EVENTS — Help host social events for newly arriving Syrian women on a quarterly basis in partnership with SARA Organization.
  • GIVING TREE — Help coordinate this annual initiative to provide gifts, coats and household items for the refugee community here in Austin.

Give Towards Our 2016 Year-End Goal — Every dollar we receive over our normal operating budget this month will go towards creating safe spaces for refugee families and their children here in Austin and around the world. Our combined goal, for our 3 Austin locations, of $500,000 will create safe places for 2000 refugee children & family members! Learn more & give at

Germany Go! Team — May 6-13 — Consider joining our Go! Team headed for Germany in 2017 that will be serving refugees in Berlin! Get more details at

Seeking Refuge Discussion Guide — Drawing from history, public policy, psychology, many personal stories and their own unique Christian worldview, three experts from World Relief offer a nuanced and compelling portrayal of the plight of refugees and the extraordinary opportunity we have to love our neighbors as ourselves. Dig deeper, with friends or your Life Group, into the topic of our current refugee crisis by downloading this discussion guide.


  • Learn more about making a difference in the lives of refugees by working through the SERVE outcome.