On Friday, September 25 Arrive Ministries showed Free Burma Rangers at Westwood Church in St. Cloud. The award winning documentary tells the true story of a remarkable family compelled by Christ to bring hope to the front lines of war. The film covers the longstanding civil war in Burma as well as the conflict carried out by ISIS in Iraq.
[pullquote style=”left” quote=”light”]
“We wanted to give the opportunity for residents from St. Cloud to see what many of our refugee neighbors have experienced firsthand.”
[/pullquote]Minnesota is home to refugee populations from both of these nations. St. Paul hosts one of the largest Karen (originally from Burma) populations in the country, while Iraqis have been resettled in several communities, including St. Cloud.
“This film provides powerful footage of what life in a war zone looks like, while simultaneously capturing how Christ shows up through the courage and love of believers. We wanted to give the opportunity for residents from St. Cloud to see what many of our refugee neighbors have experienced firsthand,” said Samantha Grimsley, St. Cloud Area Director.
Following the film screening, two panelists shared their stories of fleeing Iraq and what life is like for them in St. Cloud. Both shared about the persecution their families received being a religious minority in Iraq and of family members who were killed. They said the footage was all too real and that their hearts break for those who still suffer violence in Iraq.
Both panelists and their families have lived in St. Cloud for several years and formed meaningful friendships, but shared how they felt unwelcome when they first came to the U.S. They urged attendees to engage with new arrivals, and shared that even a smile means a lot when you don’t know anyone.
Films that show war, conflict, and even death can be hard to absorb, but Arrive Ministries knows they are impactful as we call our local communities to respond.
Join us in praying for the worldwide refugee situation, conflict zones like Burma and Iraq, and refugees and immigrants who are new to our communities.