What do refugees really need from you?

by Jalil Dawood

The most difficult time for refugees is their first year in a new country.

The food is foreign. The language is hard to learn. And the laws are different. Even if they understand some English, it takes years for someone to become proficient in conversation.

On top of that, it’s hard to find a job -- because they're not really qualified for much. Many who were successful doctors and lawyers in their home countries end up cleaning toilets for a living because their credentials aren’t recognized.

Refugees want to be home in America. But they feel so far from it.

So it’s no wonder most of them simply gather in their own communities and never once have a meaningful interaction with an American.

What do refugees need? They need community -- family. Or as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs puts it: belongingness.

That’s why the biblical idea of community is fundamental to sharing the Gospel among refugees. They need to see the reality of Acts 2:44-47…

All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

In the mind of a refugee, knowing Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior is wonderful. But doing that in community -- that’s even better!

So as you consider how the Lord is leading you to minister among refugees, remember that fostering community will be one of the key factors in reaching them.

Whether it’s an international student ministry like I had when I was younger, or being able to point them to a church that speaks to their culture, having a connection to others is a must -- because it’s that community connection that will speak to their heart.

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