Refuge partners with local resettlement agencies to connect
churches with refugee families during their first three months in the US.
Welcome Teams represents a joint effort between Refuge and area resettlement agencies. Our hope is to see more refugees benefit from having special care upon their initial arrival in Louisville and through their first few months of resettlement. Each Welcome Team will commit to creating a positive, welcoming space for the family’s arrival, and to being a helpful resource and loving influence for the first three months of a family’s resettlement.
- It allows Christians to be among the first people welcome the sojourning refugee.
- Helping with refugees’ arrival provides an open invitation into their world, rather than hoping to get an opportunity to meet and form a relationship later.
- Refugees’ initial experience arriving in the US significantly shapes their ongoing experience and perspective.
- Very tangible, short-term commitments are the best way to introduce more people to refugees.
- Churches will be able to better help refugees long-term through relationships that are already well established.
Welcome Teams will ideally be formed from a church’s existing small group format. This makes it easier for a group to rally around the effort to welcome effectively and faithfully. However, Welcome Teams can also be formed out of a church’s members who aren’t in an existing small group. There is a minimum expectation of at least 6 adults per Welcome Team. Each team must also have an assigned leader who will be the primary contact throughout the process.
Churches who are interested in serving as Welcome Teams must attend Refuge’s Welcome Team Training. This includes an introduction to Refuge, Welcome Team specifics, cross-cultural information, and necessary paperwork. These trainings are typically offered every other week at Refuge’s facilities, but may also be scheduled onsite at churches. Trainings are updated regularly at Refuge’s Facebook page.