Refugee Life Ministry

Being the hands and feet of Christ to refugee families in both word and deed.

Refugee Life Ministry

Refugee Life Ministries gives the church the opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ to newly-arrived refugee families in both word and deed. The ministry works to meet these families’ physical, emotional, and spiritual needs as they acclimate to their new home in Minnesota, whether through mentoring, relationship-building, and/or providing support with needs such as budgeting, home maintenance, shopping and job search assistance.

Ways to Get Involved:

• Visit the family and build relationships by playing games together.

• Tutor the family members once a month.

• Contribute toward clothing or household needs.

Join our team, contact:

Click here for more information about Refugee Life Ministry and Arrive Ministries.

Welcoming the "Alien and Oppressed"

“Dah-blue!” Phonetically, that means “thank you” in Karen, the language spoken by

all of the refugee families Woodbury Community Church has welcomed to the U.S. over

the past several years.

Starting in 2010, Woodbury Community’s Refugee Life Ministry (RLM) team has welcomed five families from a refugee camp in Thailand, where the average family stays for 16 years. While they may not speak any English, Danielle Rahja, the RLM assistant coordinator at Arrive Ministries, shares a story of watching the mother of a family as she signed an application, carefully copying each letter of her name in English from a gift bag that was set in their new apartment by WCC, even though she could have signed in Karen.

The team helps with setting up the family’s apartment and assists them as they are quickly wisked into Western life in the first two weeks after arrival, with a litany of appointments with Arrive Ministries, Social Security, public assistance, ELL enrollment and school enrollment. As they continue to adjust to life in the U.S., the WCC team sends families or groups each week to help the family with tutoring, job search, finances, home maintenance and more. 

Bob Oehrig, the executive director of Arrive Ministries, has spoken at WCC about all the work that has been accomplished through RLM since its inception in 2000. Over its first 13 years, more than 60 refugee families were welcomed through the work of about 20 churches in the Twin Cities area.

As more refugees continue to arrive, the need continues to increase.

As God continues to bring more families, WCC continues to come alongside Jesus’ call to us.

“I was a stranger and you invited me in…” – Matthew 25:35