The Burmese military comes into Lian’s community and burns it down. He flees to a refugee camp and gets processed as a refugee. They tell him he is moving to a place he has never heard of and has no friends, Fort Worth, TX. God brings him to us.
This story can be retold for hundreds of people each year. Last year over 1,300 refugees came to Fort Worth, this year over 1,500 and up to 1,700 next year.
Studies show that refugees are the most likely to come to Christ next to young children due to their great suffering, often violently oppressive religion and the upheaval and turmoil in their lives. The freedom they experience here opens them to a world of new experiences and identities—language, culture, religion, friendships and a new life-story.
God has brought some of the hardest and most unreached nations to our front door. He has left to us the mission of Jesus to reach the most vulnerable people in Fort Worth with the gospel. If we, the church do not do it, who will? Opportunity awaits. Will we join Him?
Refugees arrive at DFW Airport with nothing but the clothes on their backs; maybe a suitcase. They have great physical (English language, job training, transportation, cultural acquisition, employment, etc.), emotional (post-traumatic stress, depression, fear, loneliness, etc.) and spiritual needs.
At Ladera Palms apartments alone, in Southeast FW, there are over 1000 refugees representing 17 ethnicities with eight of them from Burma.
The Burmese-speaking people group is the largest and poorest unreached people group of all the refugees. There are over 80 Burmese speaking apartments representing eight different ethnicities–Chin, Karen, Kachin, Kareni, Burmese and Mon. The Burmese in Ladera Palms are of Catholic, Buddhist and syncretistic-Christian backgrounds.
Redeemer Church is partnering with the few Burmese Christians in Ladera Palms to evangelize, disciple, train leadership and plant churches among the Burmese refugees and beyond. Some of our young men have moved into Ladera Palms as missionaries for this very reason. There are many ministry opportunities.
Opportunities for Service in Refugee Ministry
ESL Classes - Currently we have several classes meeting at Ladera Palms throughout the week
Cooking Classes – Occur periodically
Friendship Ministry & Needs-Based Ministry