I recently preached a sermon that reminded us of our responsibility to minister in our own community and, in particular, reflected on ways we as a church might respond to the needs of refugees moving into our own community. During the message, I offered several possibilities for service to refugees through the ministries of Marc and Kim Wyatt and through World Relief of Durham. Among the ideas I mentioned are the following:
- Help set up apartments for arriving families – this can include simple decorating and setting up the kitchen, etc., as well as folks who could move furniture.
- Build bunk beds (following a prototype) that can be used by refugee families with multiple children.
- Be part of a Welcome Team, 2 to 8 people who pick up a family at the airport and help them get settled.
- Be part of a Good Neighbor Team that builds relationships with newly arrived refugees to help them make the transition to a new culture by walking with them in friendship and ministry.
- Pack welcome boxes with basic household supplies (this might be more of a Sunday School class project).
In addition to these ideas, our Yates Baptist Association is recruiting volunteers to help remodel the old Lakewood Baptist Church building to become the new Associational offices. They would welcome volunteers on Thursdays each week, beginning at 8:00 a.m. Volunteers can work as long as they are able. If you are interested in more information, contact the church office, and we will get you connected.
After sharing the message mentioned above, several of you expressed an interest in these opportunities. If others are interested, please let me know. I was also thrilled to have several of you mention to me that you are thinking of other mission/ministry ideas and possibilities that God seems to be placing on your heart. It excites me when you share your thoughts and ideas as well as ways God might be nudging or calling you into new directions, and I hope we will each continue praying and listening to God’s call as we seek new ways to minister to the people of our community and beyond.