Refugee Life Ministries

Refugee Life Ministries (RLM) exists to empower the church to walk alongside refugees and immigrants with the love of Christ. Teams of 4-10 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. We know that through this process life transformation is possible for both refugees and the church.

Get Involved

One church + one family + one year

More than 200 Church Teams and 115 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.

Opportunities for connection

  • Welcome a newly-arriving refugee family through Arrive Ministries’ Reception and Placement program. Be one of the first faces to greet this family upon arrival at MSP International. In partnership with the family’s case manager you will have the opportunity to assist with appointments and help the family learn local systems, all while extending friendship to our newest neighbors.
  • Come alongside a refugee or immigrant family already living in Minnesota. RLM staff have built relationships with different community leaders and organizations that work with people who came to the U.S. with refugee status. Some families were helped by a different resettlement agency a few months ago, others arrived a couple of years ago, and yet others moved to Minnesota from another state. Some of them have adjusted well, but have requested assistance with tutoring for their children. Some families do not yet feel stable, and have requested help with finding employment or learning to drive, etc. Through these connections, the church has the opportunity to extend love beyond the welcome, by providing practical support, community, and friendship.
  • Provide support to families seeking asylum. Asylum seekers have fled their country for the same reasons as refugees. However, while refugees gained their immigration status prior to entering the U.S., asylum seekers have requested asylum upon arrival. Asylum seekers come to the U.S. through a variety of routes: visitor, business, or student visas, and some cross at the border. While asylum seekers are eligible for limited services, they often are reliant on friends or family members to provide them with shelter and food until they are granted permission to work. The situation of an asylum seeker varies from being homeless and living in a shelter, to working and living in stable housing. Every family is different. Asylum seekers typically have very little support when they first come to the U.S. Teams have a unique opportunity to practically show the family the love of Christ by walking with them through their adjustment.

What training and 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 ongoing 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.

Staff

  • Wendy Meyering, Program Director, 612-746-5649
  • Akram Matta, Church Team Coordinator, 612-243-2950
  • Rebekah Phillips, Church Team & New Neighbor Coordinator, 612-243-2956
  • Rob Scott, Volunteer Director of Vision & Development