Who is a refugee? Someone who has fled his or her home country and cannot return because of a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. The government legally assigns the status of refugee after an extensive referral, application, and interview process.
Every day, thousands of people are forced to flee their countries because of war and persecution. These people find themselves facing
unknown cultures and languages.
The world tells refugees they are not wanted, but we serve a God who desires a relationship with displaced people. He beckons every person to an eternal home and offers a gospel that knows no boundaries. He desires us to join Him in His unshakable pursuit of refugees.
Thousands of refugees have relocated to Tennessee. It is a prime opportunity for the church to step in to help with practical needs and show the love of Christ.
Begin with Prayer for Refugees
- Pray for emotional healing. Refugees are traumatized and long to feel safe again.
- Pray for their spiritual journey. Refugees are spiritually open. They are looking for hope.
- Pray for their resettlement. Coming to a new country where they don’t speak the language or know the culture is difficult.
- Pray for their relationships. Refugees often struggle with loneliness and depression. They need friendship and community.
- Pray for the children. They have lost years of normal life, which means many have lost years of education.
- Pray for their salvation. Often refugees are from Islamic countries and have never heard the message of Christ.
- Pray for God to reveal practical ways that your church can be actively involved in praying for, supporting, and serving refugees in Tennessee.
You can help minister to refugees through City Reach Nashville or City Reach Knoxville. In Nashville contact Mark Harvey, and in Knoxville contact Bonita Wilson. For ministry opportunities in Memphis, contact Darla Richardson.
Additional Resources & Info:
- WMU – Reaching Refugees
- Baptist Global Response – Refugees & IDPs
- World Relief
- Refugee Verse Cards
- World Relief Infographic
Please note this list is not exhaustive. It is meant to be a “jumping-off point”. Find what is working in your community!
For a list of speakers that can come to your church or association to talk about ministering to refugees contact Denise Bronaugh.