I graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice last year. I attended a photography school in Hawaii for three months and now I am working on a project called Status:Welcomed.

I have often wrestled with the idea of national security versus a place of peace for refugees whom were torn from their homes without food, shelter and possibly family members.

My background in criminal justice tells me, “I need to keep our country safe and keep the refugees out.”

Though as I work on this project and build relationships with refugees, I have now come to believe that comprehensive plans (healthcare, education, food and shelter) for Syrian refugees are important as is extensive background checks. How can we stand back and not take action? Why not care for the hungry, naked and displaced as Christ would? The refugees are our brothers and sisters. Do we protect our homes and private lives or do we step out into the mess of life and welcome in those who have withstood loss, tragedy and suffering?