The Church in Minnesota – Responding to the Growing Refugee Crisis

A Statement by: Carl Nelson, President of Transform Minnesota and Bob Oehrig, Executive Director of Arrive Ministries

FACT: The tragic reality is that there are more refugees today than after WWII – some 17 million (there are also 35 million internally displaced people).

FACT: Syria has 7.6 million internally displaced people and 4 million refugees who have fled the country. That means that more than one-half of the Syrian population has been displaced. That is like everyone in Minnesota and Wisconsin having to flee their homes.

FACT:  Sometimes we hear people say that the U.S. has received too many refugees.  In actuality, only one refugee is currently welcomed in the U.S. each year for every 5,000 residents in our country.

We believe that every human being is made in the image of God. The Bible can serve as our moral compass when facing the desperate situation of refugees. Scripture contains many accounts of God’s people who were forced to migrate due to physical and security needs. It reminds us that God’s people too, have been strangers in a foreign land, and we as believers are called to love the foreigner as ourselves. As Christians we are all spiritual sojourners on earth and by welcoming today’s refugees into our homeland, we are showing compassion and hospitality to God’s people in need. May the Church in Minnesota rise up to welcome the “stranger” and restore hope to the hopeless.

With all the heart breaking news surrounding refugees right now, Transform Minnesota and Arrive Ministries want to remind our friends that we are resettling refugees almost daily here in the Twin Cities. In the month of September alone we will help 70+ refugees start their new lives in our communities. While we wish we could help many more, there is real transformation taking place as we help those who have experienced loss, trauma and dislocation.


How are we responding to the Middle East refugee crisis?

IN THE UNITED STATES: Arrive Ministries is already welcoming refugees from the region (Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria) to Minnesota and will continue to do so.

IN JORDAN: Through our partner, World Relief, children and youth who have been separated from their families during the crisis and are in danger of being trafficked are being helped. Through World Relief’s office in Jordan, and its local partnerships there, displaced Syrian refugee families and their host families are being provided with hygiene kits, cooking utensils, bedding and blankets.

IN COLLABORATION with Refugee Council USA: Arrive Ministries is advocating the US Government to take an active role in helping address the Middle East refugee crisis.


What can I do?

PRAY:  Follow this link to download seven major prayer requests that begin to encompass the vast, often immeasurable needs of this vulnerable group.

GIVE: Please consider donating to support the work of Arrive Ministries as we stand with Syrian, Iraqi and Afghani refugees coming to Minnesota. To help internationally, donate to our partner, World Relief.

VOLUNTEER:  Consider helping to resettle a refugee family or providing transportation help to a newly arriving refugee family in Minnesota.

December 10, 2015

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