In 2013 WRDA and Village Bible Church, Aurora Campus began a partnership that has grown by leaps and bounds. Starting with the church hosting Job Readiness ESL classes, the outreach has grown to now include gardening spaces for refugees, many refugees attending church and many more involved in church activities. As the church has been ministering to local refugees, Travis Fleming, Teaching Pastor for the congregation, has invested more and more in learning and understanding refugees, and he recently made a trip to Jordan to learn more and to connect with churches in Jordan who are serving some of the nearly 1,000,000 refugees there. Travis sat down with WRDA Church Mobilizer, Keith Draper to talk about this trip and how it has shaped his vision of "glocal" (global + local) ministry.
What sparked your trip to see a refugee camp and visit with a church serving refugees?
God put our church in a position we didn’t expect a few years ago. He placed a refugee resettlement community less than a mile from our church, and we saw it as an opportunity to not only reach out to our community, but to reach the world. For us to visit with another church doing that in a foreign land, seemed like a no-brainer. We are helping the same people just in different places. And if we can figure out a way to help partner with one another to help the most vulnerable among us to know who Jesus is, then we should.
At the request of Christians in the middle east working with refugees at great person risk, this article is being edited to protect their identities. Please check back later, and in the interim please be in prayer for those who are serving in dangerous places.