Help us build bridges between the Church and the nations at our doorstep!
70,000 refugees are resettled in the U.S. each year, with 2,000+ in Massachusetts. Families arrive every week from places like Iraq, Burma, Bhutan, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria. These people have gone through almost unfathomable suffering and loss and yet are precious in God’s sight.
Resettlement agencies and caseworkers are stretched thin and desperately need caring volunteers to assist these families in the resettlement process. What an opportunity for the Church to step in! Unfortunately, much of the Church has been unengaged.
The Solution (click left image to watch video)
For a year and a half, a coordinating team (convened and led by Intercultural Ministries at Emmanuel Gospel Center in Boston) engaged in Research & Development, meeting with government agencies, resettlement agencies, community organizations, refugees, and volunteers. Through this process we developed a new ministry initiative that calls on the Church of Greater Boston to collaborate at a high level. The new ministry is Greater Boston Refugee Ministry (GBRM). GBRM is holistic "wrap around" model of ministry that will form church-based "Open Tables."
These Open Tables will be comprised of 8-12 members from local churches who will form a loving community of "ambassadors" to walk alongside our refugee friends as they adjust to life in a new place and culture. The tables will focus on supporting in areas such as English learning, job readiness, adult education, children and family, health, housing, finance, cultural learning, spiritual support, and transportation. The central GBRM team will help recruit, train, mentor, and multiply Open Tables in churches throughout Greater Boston. During our two-year pilot period (April 2015 - April 2017) we hope to start 10 church-based Open Tables.
The vision is now being shared with churches. And our first Open Table took on our first refugee family in August 2015!
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