There are now an estimated 258 million people living in a country other than their country of birth — an increase of 49% since 2000. If all migrants lived in one country it would be the fifth most populous country on earth. Some immigration is by choice; at other times people are forcibly displaced from their homes due to circumstances outside of their control. This past year, 1 person was displaced every 2 seconds. These may all see like big numbers and global trends, but they impact your local community. The reality is that no matter where you live - whether urban or rural, east coast, west coast, or somewhere in-between – you’ve noticed a change in the demographics of your community. One of the first ways that Immigrant Connection seeks to partner with you is providing up-to-date resources to help you research your own community and find out more about your immigrant and refugee neighbors.
Immigration might be one of the most polarizing issues in today’s world. It is also a popular topic, consistently showing up on the national and local news and your personal newsfeed. While it seems everyone has an opinion, it surprises most people, including people of faith, to learn that Jesus and the Bible speak frequently about immigrants. Our hope is that followers of Jesus will formulate their thoughts and perspectives on immigrants based on a Biblical perspective. Our learning resources help you teach others about God and His heart for immigrants. Whether your need is related to curriculum to lead a one-day workshop, a weekly small group, or preach a sermon, Immigrant Connection has resources to help.
Immigration is an issue, immigrants are people. While Immigrant Connection is proud to help you learn about changes in your community and learn about a Biblical perspective on immigrants and immigration; our deepest desire is that you will connect and build relationships with individual immigrants and refugees in your community. We firmly believe the most transformative location is around a table – where people connect face to face and listen and learn from one another. With this in mind, we have several categories of resources to help you form these connections and relationships in your own community. For some, a good first step might be opening up dialogue and creating one-on-one or group meetings to hear each other’s stories and learn together.
After you've moved through the process of learning and connecting, the next step is welcoming. To provide welcome is a threefold movement - its towards immigrants (serving felt needs), with immigrants (healthy partnerships together), and through immigrants (empowering and following their lead). There are several innovative, powerful ways to spread welcome. We have found that family resource nights, language classes, citizenship classes, and Know Your Rights workshops are all great initial options. Immigrant Connection has developed "plug and play" resources and toolkits that allow you to start each of these welcoming activities in your community.