By Michael Smith | Content Specialist, Converge
Over the past decade, Rockford, Illinois, has become home to thousands of refugees from around the globe.
Keenly aware of the plight of refugee children and the spiritual needs that only Jesus can fulfill, in 2016 Temple Baptist Church member Heather Dellamater developed The Welcome Project, a one-week refugee ministry outreach. The program’s goal is to reach out with the love of Christ to children and families for whom true welcomes have been rare.
Temple Baptist hosted the third annual Welcome Project on its campus July 23-27 – attended by more than 80 children, ages 6 to 16 and originating from 10 different nations, including Congo, Myanmar, Syria, Uganda, Rwanda, India and Ethiopia.
In addition to praise and Bible teaching, the daily schedule from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. provided a crash course on life in America – including conversational English, school readiness and computer skills – visits from community services personnel, crafts, gym time and a day of water games.
The entire week of programs, including breakfast and lunch, was provided free to all attendees. The final afternoon included a group praise time during which every child received a free backpack stuffed with school supplies.
Converge is asking God for a gospel movement among every least-reached people group in our generation. Many members of those people groups are our neighbors, co-workers and classmates. As the world comes to us, we are thankful for Converge churches such as Temple Baptist Church that are reaching the least-reached among us with the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ.
Michael Smith is a content specialist for Converge in Orlando, Florida.