Hi all! My name is Corrina and I am a summer intern with Refuge Louisville. I only started my internship at Refuge a little over a week ago, but my experience since being here has been nothing less than eye-opening.
Getting to know the neighborhoods in South Louisville, has revealed a beautiful melting pot of cultures and nationalities. Vietnamese markets, Cuban markets, and a multitude of oriental restaurants populate the neighborhoods surrounding Refuge. Each day walking the surrounding neighborhood, I have been able to meet and see several different people from a range of nationalities.
One day last week, while walking around with a couple of my fellow interns and led by our guide Mary, we came across a Congolese family tilling a plot to grow food in a nearby community garden. After a short time with this family, we began to get to know them, and another intern was even able to help them finish preparing this plot. Within the same garden, I was able to meet a mother and son from Myanmar, who were there caring for and watering their herb plants. After spending more time in South Louisville, it has become more clear the beautiful diversity of people that live so close by. Entering into the summer, I did not expect to see such a diverse population of refugees dwelling within the same neighborhood and, even less, to see refugees gardening within the same small space together in what appeared to be complete harmony.
It has also become more and more obvious to me the special opportunity God has given the residents of Louisville to show Christ’s love to the nations. Louisville is unique in that the nations aren’t just a plane ride across the ocean, but a short walk around one’s neighborhood.
The nations have come to us.
A part of the mission at Refuge is to harness the time and place that we have been born into and given to spread the Gospel and glorify God (Acts 17:26-27). Because my presence in Louisville is no mistake, what responsibility do I have to reach out to these people, and what does this mean for the local church? Alongside the local church, I have the special privilege to cater to refugees in Louisville—these people that are all around me. My prayer for this internship is that I do not ignore the gift it is to reach the nations in the neighborhood I am already in. I can only imagine and am so excited for what God has in store for the remainder of the summer as He calls me to love my refugee neighbors.