This past Sunday our Burlington City Church Home Fellowships partnered with the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program for World Refugee Day. Most Sundays we meet in homes for a focused time of worshiping together which usually includes singing, sharing stories of God’s activity, praying for each other, teaching from the scriptures, and often taking communion. It’s still very easy to get in the mode of “going to church” where church becomes something we do rather than who we are. On this Sunday, God gave us an amazing opportunity to be the church as we served alongside our refugee neighbors to make this event happen.
With over 5000 refugees being transplanted to Burlington area since 1989 and over 300 expected from Nepal alone this year, this was a huge opportunity. What made it especially significant, was this was not just about us serving them but about us serving together as neighbors. Very often, our new refugee neighbors have to take the posture of a learner in a foreign culture. On this day, they became the teachers as they shared about their cultures through song, dance, and amazing food. We made our cultural contribution by providing popcorn, cotton candy, and snow cones, which apparently make people smile from all cultural backgrounds.
Please pray that God will continue to give us wisdom as we serve and build relationships with our neighbors from around the world. Our hope is that one day in Burlington we’ll be a church that reflects the rich cultural diversity that He’s brought to our city.