What is Refuge?
When we speak of “Refuge” we are referring to God’s desire to bring healing, deliverance, reconciliation and salvation to all men. We believe that God has given the Body of Christ “the ministry of reconciliation” and that He is “pleading through us” that all men be reconciled to God. It is our desire to be active agents of reconciliation through servanthood to Christ, to the Church and to the community. Through prayer, obedience, acts of kindness and selflessness we believe that God will be glorified and that our community will receive salvation.
When asked which commandment was the greatest, Jesus responded, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all of your mind.” We were created for the pleasure of God, to serve Him, love Him and obey Him. It is our first and most important calling to trust God with every aspect of our lives, to “pray without ceasing”; to love, study and obey the Word of God and to “worship Him in Spirit and in truth.”
It is our desire to serve Christ more fully each day the same way that the book of Acts tells us that the first Church did: “They devoted themselves to the Apostle’s teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.” We attempt to follow this example by gathering for prayer, for worship, for fellowship and for the teaching of God’s Word. We believe that the building of relationships and true community allows us to better serve Christ and that when we “draw near to God”, both individually and corporately, that God draws near to us.
Jesus told the Apostles, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” We believe that this is still true today. We manifest Jesus and show His character to those around us by the way we love and serve each other in the Body of Christ.
It is our desire to be a help and a blessing to the churches of our community. We are not in a competition but rather here to support one another. We are attempting to see what others are doing in the community and help to increase their efforts rather than to duplicate them. We believe that it is our calling to be a “Barnabas” ministry to the churches of our community. We can fulfill this by giving resources where they are lacking, volunteering at every opportunity and stepping out to attempt to accomplish tasks that are not yet being attempted.
We truly desire to see unity among the churches of Burlington. What we have in common, Jesus as the Son of God, crucified, resurrected and baptizing us with the Holy Spirit, is greater than anything that could ever divide us. We want to follow Jesus’ own example as He washed the feet of the Apostles and be the servants of our brothers and sisters in Christ here in Burlington.
Jesus came as a servant to the world. He poured Himself out by meeting the needs of those around Him, He healed the sick, fed the poor, raised the dead and made a way for salvation. As the servants of Jesus we are called to be servants of our community.
Every community has great needs, ours is no different. We believe that we can serve our community through prayer first. We have established prayer watches that will ultimately lead to our city being prayed for 24 hours a day. From prayer must come service. It is our desire to be a blessing in tangible, necessary ways. We give to local food ministries, volunteer for community cleaning opportunities and local activities, and encourage one another to become involved in all aspects of community life.
One of the specific things that God has laid on our hearts is to be a blessing to the children of Burlington. We encourage each other to be involved in the schools, in the recreation department, local mentoring programs and in our own neighborhoods.
We believe strongly in the calling to go into all the world. Missions is an important part of our community, we actively seek opportunities to give and to go.
We have had the opportunity to take teams to Kenya and the Philippines. We are currently supporting missionaries and children at the City of Refuge Children’s Home in Jamaica; we also give to Life Spring Ministires and New Promise Ministries in Webuye, Kenya, and City of Refuge, a network of house churches in the Philadelphia area.
(More information on these and other ministries can be found on the “Ministry Partners & Friends” page).