Churches Responding to the Global Refugee Crisis
Resources for Responding to the Global Refugee Crisis
Last month 170 gathered in the Twin Cities for a stimulating and informative presentation on the global refugee crisis given by Matthew Soerens, author of the just-released book “Seeking Refuge on the Shores of the Refugee Crisis.” The seminar was organized by Arrive Ministries, Transform Minnesota and World Relief.
We at Transform Minnesota believe refugees and other immigrants are made in the image of God and are fearfully and wonderfully made. We believe that Jesus commands us to love our neighbor as ourselves, and that includes our refugee neighbors.
And yet Soerens presented some lop-sided findings of a recent World Relief survey: that even though 86% of U.S. protestant pastors thinks Christians should care sacrificially for refugees and other foreigners, only 8% of pastors say their church is currently involved in serving refugees.
We’d like to help connect Christian faith communities with resources and empower the local church to serve our vulnerable refugee neighbors.
We think this is a unique opportunity for the Church to, as Matthew 5 says, “let our light shine.”
“That others would see both refugees and the rest of the world would see how we respond and praise our Father in heaven. Our deep conviction is that the Church has a remarkable opportunity in the midst of a global crisis to let our light shine like never before,” said Soerens.
Below are a few resources from the seminar which we know many church leaders and concerned Christians will find helpful:
- PowerPoint slides from Matthew Soerens’ presentation.
- The Seeking Refuge book is available from Amazon or at www.SeekingRefugeBook.com.
- Download free small group discussion questions to accompany the book.
- Download Free “Seeking Refuge: God’s Heart for Refugees” 7-Day Devotional
- A great video depicting Syrian refugees who are receiving the light and love of a local Middle Eastern pastor and his church who are embracing those fleeing chaos and death. We hope that this video will inspire you to think how you can serve refugees locally with Arrive Ministries. Please find below resources for you to take next steps.
- Listen to Matthew Soerens’ recent interview on NPR about evangelical congregations that are working to resettle refugees from Syria and other countries in the U.S.
Local Opportunities for churches and individuals:
- Some 160 refugees will be resettled by Arrive Ministries in the next 60 days. In response, many have formed Refugee Life Ministries (RLM) teams to “adopt” arriving refugee families coming to the Twin Cities or are helping refugees in other practical ways through being a new neighbor volunteer, tutoring, apartment set-ups and financial support. Learn more about church engagement through Arrive Ministries.
- Consider donating welcome kit items for the 400+ refugees being resettled each year by Arrive Ministries.
“Join us in partnership as we seek to welcome refugees well and share God’s love to those who have experienced great trauma, loss and dislocation. Together may we love mercy, seek justice and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8),” said Bob Oehrig, Executive Director of Arrive Ministries.
Advocate for Refugees and Other Vulnerable Immigrants:
- We encourage you to join many national and local evangelical leaders in affirming the Evangelical Statement of Principles for Immigration Reform
- Sign onto a letter to President Obama from faith leaders urging a more robust US response to the global refugee crisis’