Whether your ancestors came to this continent on a slave ship, fought alongside the US in Vietnam such as the Hmong, left an English prison as mine did, sailed from Finland to work the iron ore range, emigrated from Poland to dig in the coal mines of Western Pennsylvania, came across the Rio Grande to work the farm fields, we are an immigrant people. Only the Lakota, Ojibwe, and other American Indians can claim this land as “home.”
We weren’t the first people-on-the-move. Others have had an immigrant background. One of them? Jesus. Joseph gathered his new family as Herod began slaughtering infant boys. Who welcomed them, saving the young family? Egypt. Interesting, and so it continues today. Not since WWII has the world seen so many refugees. Today, 20 million people are declared refugees by the UN.
Remembering our own heritage, listening to Jesus’ instruction to welcome the stranger, St. John’s has responded to the refugee crisis by sponsoring a family of 5 from the Congo, who lived in a refugee camp in Uganda for 14 years before coming to the United States. What needs to be done? First, pray with the family, committee, and volunteers. The family is leaving all they know and arriving in a whole new culture. Second, volunteer. We need continuing help with clothing, transportation, shopping, social visits, ESL and education, and financial donations (please click here to donate to this ministry). Please make them feel welcomed in their new home.
St. John’s efforts were featured in a November 2016 article in MinnPost. Click to read it.
Click below to watch a video showing the story of the family’s arrival.