If you've been around Communitas a while, you know that this community has a history of befriending and serving refugees. Several people regularly volunteer with English Club, a few families in our church have been cultural companions for families who were recently resettled in Spokane, and last summer several people from Communitas hosted a weekly potluck at Polly Judd park for refugee kids and their parents.
A few weeks ago, I got to represent Communitas when World Relief gathered local church leaders together to continue conversations about how local churches can best support refugee families in Spokane. It was a great event where we got an update about the current state of refugee resettlement in our nation and in Spokane specifically, and where we learned a bit more how to best befriend and support the families who are being resettled right here in our own neighborhoods. We also brainstormed as churches about different ways church communities can continue to welcome refugee families. This was clear: local churches are invaluable partners in order to successfully resettle refugees in Spokane.
Over and over, throughout the old and new testaments, God calls His people to welcome the foreigners, for the Israelites were once foreigners in a foreign land and when they finally arrive in what becomes their own land, the Israelites are not to forget what it was like to be a foreigner. They are to care for and incorporate the foreigners among them. I don't know about you, but at times I feel hesitant about reaching out to refugees here. I worry about saying the wrong thing, or having nothing to say, or feeling guilty that I have so much more than they do. But in the moments where I have gotten to meet and chat with refugees, I nearly always walk away feeling incredibly grateful for the conversation and somehow closer to Jesus and to God's people in general.
So here are a few ways you can welcome and serve refugees this summer:
1. Communitas will again host weekly potlucks for refugee families at Polly Judd park. They will be every Wednesday evening, starting July 11th for 6-8 weeks. Mia will have more info for us as we get closer to that time.
2. World Relief has several families who are begging to be connected with a cultural companion which entails befriending a refugee family, helping with adapt to American culture and assisting with some basic language skills. If you're interested, talk with me, Sarah Smith or contact World Relief directly.