By Michael Ireland, Senior Reporter, ASSIST News Service
MINNEAPOLIS, MN (ANS, November 12, 2015) – The Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Arrive Ministries is calling on churches across America to respond to the growing refugee crisis in the Middle East.
“There are many wonderful opportunities for churches, small groups and individuals to come alongside some of the 400+ refugees Arrive Ministries is resettling each year in Minnesota. Now is the time — to welcome the stranger and bind the wounds of the broken-hearted,” said a spokesman for the ministry in an email update.
Arrive Ministries says the tragic reality is that there are more refugees today than after WWII — some 19 million (there are also 35+ million internally displaced people).
The ministry states that Syria has 7.6 million internally displaced people and 4 million refugees who have fled the country. That means that more than one-half of the Syrian population has been displaced. That is like everyone in Minnesota and Wisconsin having to flee their homes.
The spokesman continued: “Sometimes we hear people say that the U.S. has received too many refugees. In actuality, only one refugee is currently welcomed in the U.S. each year for every 5,000 residents in our country.”
The spokesman added: “We believe that every human being is made in the image of God. The Bible can serve as our moral compass when facing the desperate situation of refugees. Scripture contains many accounts of God’s people who were forced to migrate due to physical and security needs. It reminds us that God’s people too, have been strangers in a foreign land, and we as believers are called to love the foreigner as ourselves.
“As Christians we are all spiritual sojourners on earth and by welcoming today’s refugees into our homeland, we are showing compassion and hospitality to God’s people in need. May the Church in Minnesota rise up to welcome the “stranger” and restore hope to the hopeless.”
The Arrive Ministries spokesman concluded: “With all the heartbreaking news surrounding refugees right now, Arrive Ministries wants to remind our friends that we are resettling refugees almost daily in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St.Paul). In the month of September alone we helped nearly 70 refugees start their new lives in our communities. While we wish we could help many more, there is real transformation taking place as we help those who have experienced loss, trauma and dislocation.”
How is Arrive Ministries responding to the Middle East refugee crisis?
IN THE UNITED STATES: Arrive Ministries is already welcoming refugees from the region (Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria) to Minnesota and will continue to do so.
IN JORDAN: Through our partner, World Relief, children and youth who have been separated from their families during the crisis and are in danger of being trafficked are being helped. Through World Relief’s office in Jordan, and its local partnerships there, displaced Syrian refugee families and their host families are being provided with hygiene kits, cooking utensils, bedding and blankets.
IN COLLABORATION with Refugee Council USA: Arrive Ministries is advocating for the US Government to take an active role in helping address the Middle East refugee crisis.
What can you do:
** PRAY: Download the seven major prayer requests that begin to encompass the vast, often immeasurable needs of this vulnerable group (click on the word “pray.”
** GIVE: Please consider donating to support the work of Arrive Ministries as we stand with Syrian, Iraqi and Afghani refugees coming to Minnesota. To help internationally, donate to our partner World Relief.
**VOLUNTEER: Consider helping to resettle a refugee family or providing transportation help to a newly arriving refugee family in Minnesota.
For more information go to: www.arriveministries.org
Ways for churches to get involved:
Image One: Welcome to America. (Arrive Ministries)
Image Two: Refugees in a Syrian camp (Arrive Ministries)
Image Three: Where Syrian refugees are settling in America (Arrive Ministries)
Bio Image: Michael Ireland (ASSIST News Photo).
About the writer: Michael Ireland is a Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, as well as a volunteer Internet Journalist and Ordained Minister who has served with ASSIST Ministries and ASSIST News Service since its beginning in 1989. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China, and Russia. Click http://paper.li/Michael_ASSIST/1410485204 to see a daily digest of Michael’s stories for ANS.
** You may republish this or any of ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net).