Two Arms Working as One
Arrive Ministries has the privilege of coming alongside some of the most resilient people in the world. There is a tendency to reduce refugees to numbers: 25.4 million worldwide, 44,000 forced to flee every day, 13 million displaced Syrians. But refugees are not numbers. They are people like you and me, created in the image of God, each with a story of loss and resiliency.
When Arrive Ministries welcomes a refugee family from Burma, Congo, or Afghanistan, as we did in February, or when we come alongside asylum-seekers or secondary arrivals, two powerful arms embrace our new neighbors:
Our Social Services Arm: This arm is comprised of a team of case managers and resettlement staff who secure housing and material needs for new arrivals, apply for cash assistance and insurance, find jobs, and provide immigration services.
Our Ministry Arm: This arm consists of RLM Church Teams and New Neighbor volunteers from dozens of churches, 220 weekly SALT volunteers who share their lives and the love of Jesus through literacy, and churches who offered more than 2,000 garden plots to refugee families in 2018.
It is only when both arms are fully functioning, strengthened by volunteers, and resourced by the financial support and prayers of God’s people, that we are up to the task of truly welcoming the stranger. You warm our hearts because you care enough to “hold up our arms in battle” (Exodus 17:12-14) for the sake of vulnerable people who together we have the privilege of calling our new neighbors and friends.
Bob Oehrig, Executive Director, Arrive Ministries