Refugee Life Ministries (RLM), a ministry of Arrive Ministries, has the mission to empower churches to walk alongside refugee families with the love of Christ. We desire life transformation for refugees and the church. Teams of 6-15 people from churches and individual New Neighbors are equipped to love their refugee friends holistically as they build genuine friendships, walk with them as they adjust to life in the U.S., assist with practical needs, and extend welcome.
More than 150 RLM church teams and 100 individual New Neighbors across the Twin Cities and St. Cloud have developed relationships with refugee families. If you are interested in learning more about how you or your church can come alongside a refugee family, contact us for more information.
Benefits to Churches
- Intercultural training from Arrive Ministries
- Learning about Biblical principles of compassion and service
- Friendships that teach all about God, His love, and provision
- Learning from our new neighbors as they share with us their culture and values
Benefits to Refugee Families
- Support and assistance with basic needs while adjusting to life in the U.S.
- Tutoring children, teaching adults how to drive, sorting mail, practicing for the citizenship exam, helping navigate the community or riding the bus, etc.
- Friendship and community
What support do RLM Volunteers receive?
RLM volunteers are provided training on loving holistically, both before and after they are connected with a family. Volunteers are also encouraged to attend quarterly RLM Volunteer Trainings which offer Biblical, practical, and cultural insights. Throughout the course of the one-year commitment, RLM staff provide continuous support to volunteers by meeting with them, providing resources and advice, and quickly responding to phone calls and emails.
Changes in Refugee Resettlement Update
While it continues to be uncertain how many refugees will be arriving or where from, we are filled with even greater certainty of the importance of the Church coming alongside refugees. During this time, Refugee Life Ministries still connects volunteers with new refugee friends, but in different ways than we have before. Teams and New Neighbors have the opportunity of coming alongside a newly-arrived refugee family through the resettlement program, a refugee family that has been in Minnesota a little longer, still seeking new friends and support, or being connected to asylum-seekers.
In 2018, Refugee Life Ministries connected 50 families to teams and individual volunteers. The majority of these families did not come through our resettlement program, indicating the need and opportunity for the church to come alongside families who have been here a little while. While we are hopeful that the national resettlement program will return to its historic state of welcoming 75,000+ refugees annually, we are embracing the current climate and extending welcome to those families already here.
- Wendy Meyering, Program Director, 612-746-5649
- Zack Szyman, Church Team Coordinator, 612-746-5654
- Akram Matta, Church Team Coordinator, 612-243-2950
- Rebekah Phillips, Volunteer & New Neighbor Coordinator, 612-746-5633
- Kisongo Mbeleulu, Resettlement and Outreach Coordinator, 612-746-5634
- Samantha Grimsley, St. Cloud Area Director
- Rob Scott, Volunteer Director of Vision & Development