Day 2

Xuyen Pho reflects on his experience of being a refugee and the challenge of connecting with others.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:28


I have always been grateful for the provision the Australian Government afforded me when I arrived in Melbourne, 42 years ago, as a refugee from war-torn Vietnam. Accommodation, food and financial support in the initial settlement made it easier for me to start a new life. These practical means were the essential ways to welcome me into the country.

However, connecting with people required a different approach. It could not be ordered by Government regulations. It could only rely on the goodwill of the community. I found when I opened myself to others, a genuine acceptance will surely be given in return. I too have learned to welcome others as a result.


Take Action

Have you ever experienced the gift of being welcomed by another or by God? Has the welcome you received led you to welcome others, even people from a different race, gender or social status?

One of the most important things you can do to contribute to a country which welcomes refugees is to educate the people around you. Take action by connecting with your friends and family about this Daily Disruptions series for Refugee Week. Are there opportunities for you to share with others during the week about refugees and asylum seekers and the theme of welcome? 

Share what you learn in a comment on today’s Common Grace Facebook post or write your own post using the hashtag #RefugeeWeek2020.


Xuyen T. Pho (Samuel) is a Lieutenant-Colonel in The Salvation Army who was ordained in January 1983.  He has held a number of Salvation Army appointments including as Corps Officer, Media & Information Officer, Officer Commanding (Hong Kong & Macau Command), National Secretary (Canberra), National Director for Multicultural Ministry, Executive Manager, Indigenous and Multicultural Media and Community. He is a community activist and advocator.



Refugee Week 2020