Every year thousands of refugees arrive in Minnesota from all over the world. We have the privilege to welcome them and to help them adjust to life in Minnesota as they find new hope, new beginnings and new friends. Some of these refugees come from Christian backgrounds, know Jesus and want to be connected with a church community. Other refugees have never understood the truth of who he is – while still others have never heard of him at all. Refugee Life Ministries (RLM), a church-based ministry of Arrive Ministries, provides churches with an opportunity to welcome newly-arrived refugee families with the love of Christ through practical service and loving relationships. Church teams are equipped to love their refugee friends holistically as they build genuine friendships, help them adjust to life in the U.S., assist with practical needs, and share their lives and the good news of Jesus.
Not only do churches become part of God’s transformative work in the lives of their refugee friends, but they also find that they too are changed as they engage in this kingdom work. The pastor of one church noted that being a part of Refugee Life Ministries transformed his congregation. They were no longer an inward-focused church, but they became actively engaged in many new ways in God’s work outside of the church.
Refugee Life Ministries began as the vision of lay leaders at Roseville Covenant Church. Over the past years, RLM has provided a rich welcome to nearly 70 families. More than 30 churches across the Twin Cities have formed RLM teams and have welcomed one or more newly arriving refugee families.
What support do RLM Teams receive?
Members of church teams divide up tasks and responsibilities so that no one person is stretched beyond their capacity to serve. RLM teams are provided with ongoing cultural and practical training before and after they are matched with a family. They also attend bi-monthly training with other RLM church teams. This training provides Biblical, practical and cultural insights, while also equipping teams to share the gospel and provide assistance with home and community orientation, employment, budgeting, education, and navigating life in a new city. In addition, RLM staff provide continuous support – meeting with teams, providing resources and advice, and quickly responding to phone calls and emails.
Refugee Life Ministries operates in many churches across the Twin Cities. Our hope is that one day every refugee family that is resettled through Arrive Ministries will be welcomed by a church team. If you are interested in learning more about how your church or small group can welcome a refugee family, visit our website or contact Arrive Ministries for more information.
Benefits to Churches
– Cross-cultural training from Arrive Ministries
– Learning about the Biblical principles of compassion and service
– Cross-cultural local ministry and engagement opportunities
– Friendships that teach all about God, His love, and provision
Benefits to Refugee Families
– Support and assistance with basic needs from Church neighbors while adjusting to U.S. life
– Friendships with Americans
– Connections with Christian communities
Training for church teams and team leaders is held every other month. Team members are welcome to attend the north or the south training, whichever best fits their schedule. To see the full training schedule and an outline of the structure of training sessions, please click on this link: 2013-2014 Training Schedule
North Metro Churches: St. Paul First Baptist Church: 499 Wacouta Street, St. Paul, MN 55101
South Metro Churches: Arrive Ministries Office: 1515 East 66th Street, Richfield, MN 55423
Rob Scott, Refugee Life Ministries Volunteer Director
Rob is a full-time elementary school teacher, but volunteers his time as the director of Refugee Life Ministries. Rob has a passion for assisting refugees and leads the ministry through vision casting and training.
Jessica Wills, Refugee Life Ministries Coordinator
612-746-5649 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Danielle Rahja, Refugee Life Ministries Assistant Coordinator
612-746-5654 or email@example.com
To learn more about Refugee Life Ministries, contact Jessica or Danielle (above) by phone or email.
About Refugee Life Ministries (PDF)