Our Mission: Why Refuge Rochester?

If you’ve been tracking with Refuge Rochester I hope you understand that we exist to help churches in Rochester embrace refugees and immigrants as a way of welcoming Jesus (Matt. 25: 35). We aim to educate evangelical Christians towards a Biblical perspective on refugees and immigration.

This Biblical perspective is incredibly important and a huge personal challenge for each of us to develop internally. The task of then passing that perspective on to those around us?!? Oh my.

Whether we’re aware of it or not, our views of refugees and immigrants is being shaped daily-as are those of our family members and friends. The constant coverage of these issues in the news media IS shaping our minds. If we’re not carefully immersing ourselves in the scriptures we will develop perspectives on this issue that are not in agreement with God’s perspective, and we will most likely pass those perspectives on to those around us.

Will you join us in this journey by beginning to immerse yourself in the Scriptures with us? God has something to teach us from our dear neighbors from far-away places, and we don’t want to miss out.

If you’d like to begin immersing yourself in scripture related to God’s perspective on refugees, you can check out our resource page here:

If you want to go even deeper, we highly recommend this excellent and very readable book by Karen Gonzelez:

God bless you as you welcome Him to our community by welcoming the stranger!

The Refuge Rochester blog begins

The country of Nepal has been ‘temporary’ home for the roughly 60,000 refugees who fled the country of Bhutan in the early 1990’s. Most of those who were displaced had been living in the southern part of Bhutan for generations, but were forced to flee due to political and religious persecution from the majority people group in that country. Those that fled the country remained in refugee camps where their numbers grew to roughly 110,000. In 2007 the UN began to resettle the Bhutanese, and today roughly 7000 refugees remain in Nepal, almost 30 years later!

I had the privilege of traveling to Nepal at the end of May in order to take part in the dedication of a new church building, and while there went to visit one of the remaining refugee camps. This trip began to build in me a desire to develop more of my own view of the global refugee crisis, how it relates to my Christianity as well as what God could be calling us to as His people in Rochester, New York.

I hope you’ll join us at Refuge Rochester as we seek to embrace and welcome the refugees and immigrants that God is bringing to our city. I hope you’ll follow our blog as we record some of the process that He is leading us through as we grow in this ministry.