In January dozens of tutoring volunteers gathered to learn two different languages – Somali and Pashto.

Learning a new language is humbling, but it is something that refugees do daily.
In the past, our Connect training focused on learning Somali to build deeper connections with our Somali neighbors. This year, due to the growing number of Afghans we have welcomed to Minnesota, the program expanded to include Pashto, an Afghan language.

The mission of Connect remains the same: just as Jesus humbled himself and became human, we want to imitate Jesus by identifying with our refugee neighbors. Learning a new language is humbling, but it is something that refugees do daily. As we reflect Christ in this way we hope to deepen our relational connections.

Sharing their language skills is just the tip of the iceberg as to what our refugee neighbors can teach us
This winter’s Connect training had three language guides. Two Somali guides who currently have SALT volunteer tutors visit their families regularly. And one Afghan language guide whose family previously was visited by one of our AWELL volunteer tutors.

But in this language classroom, the roles were reversed; our volunteers got to be the learners not the teachers.

One of our values at Arrive Ministries is empowerment and learning from each other. Sharing their language skills is just the tip of the iceberg as to what our refugee neighbors can teach us, and we are thankful to learn from them.