Throughout the Bible, God’s people are encouraged to show love to foreigners. Often God reminds the Israelites that they were once foreigners in need of kindness (Exodus 22:21, 23:9). That reminder is often paired with God’s invitation to show hospitality to strangers in their land.
Showing love to the sojourner is woven throughout scripture. The Hebrew word for a “resident alien” – ger – appears 92 times in the Old Testament. God gives the Israelites a picture of how important it is to welcome the stranger.
You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt. (Leviticus 19:33-34)
Extending into the New Testament, Jesus identified closely with “the stranger” saying, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” The promise Jesus associated with inviting a stranger into your home is to be blessed by his Father (Matthew 25:34-35).
As a Christian refugee resettlement agency, Arrive Ministries joyfully extends welcome and love to our new refugee and immigrant neighbors. Heading into summer we expect a surge of 250 refugees who will need our essential services and practical assistance to advance their self-sufficiency.
Beyond the welcome, our mission includes mobilizing hundreds of volunteers in partnership with local churches to build friendship with our new neighbors.
Recently Crossroads Church formed four volunteer teams to welcome four newly-arrived refugee families at the airport and befriend them in the months to follow. A Syrian mother was so nervous on the plane, not knowing if anyone would be at the airport. After the Syrian family was greeted with big smiles by a volunteer team, the mother asked our staff,
Can we see those friendly people again?” The answer is an exuberant, “Yes!”
These Crossroads volunteer teams are living out Arrive Ministries’ mission of welcoming refugees with the love of Jesus. In return, their pastor says the volunteers are experiencing life-giving friendship and newfound purpose with our new neighbors.
What a blessing it has been for our church to be connected with Arrive,” said Pastor Tim Stanley, Crossroads Church.
At Arrive Ministries, we equip our volunteers to extend love to our new neighbors in practical, social and spiritual ways, which promotes thriving in their new homeland. Our volunteer and church partners are demonstrating God’s love to the foreigner in our land and living out this biblical invitation.
Arrive Ministries is growing by offering new educational opportunities: including technology classes, homework help, English tutoring, and Good Neighbor teams who walk alongside refugee families in friendship.
With this anticipated influx in refugee arrivals over the next 5 months, will you extend welcome by volunteering with us? Take one of the following 3 next steps:
Sign-up for one of our monthly online volunteer interest meetings
Fill-out a volunteer interest form
Email us to set-up a time for Arrive staff to host an interest meeting at your church or in your community