"Connecting With and Serving Refugees and Immigrants in Your Community”
Countries in North Africa, the Middle East and Asia are home to many people who remain unreached with the gospel. Security, hostility, and general resistance limit Christian outreach efforts in these countries. The current refugee situation creates an opportunity for many churches in the United States. Refugees are coming into the United States and settling in our own communities and cities, and many have never interacted with Christians or heard the gospel message. Pastor Matt Vogt supports a ministry in Las Vegas serving refugees from North Africa. Pastor Peter Bur serves refugees from his home country, South Sudan. Mary Flynn is the refugee resettlement program supervisor at Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and the Upper Midwest. Dana Kirchoff is the communications director at Divine Savior Academy in Doral, Florida. These panel members will share examples of Christians in Las Vegas, Omaha, Wisconsin, and Miami who are reaching out and serving refugees by showing and sharing Christ’s love for them. We hope you walk away from this session with ideas for reaching out to refugees in your community informed with a better understanding of the resettlement process and needs of refugees when they first come to the United States.
Mary Flynn has been with Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan for 24 years and joined the Refugee Resettlement Services Program as Program Manager in December 2009. Mary’s work has included intensive case management for people persistent and serious mental illness, medically complex cases, behavioral crisis planning, elder care, and training. Mary hosts medical and pediatric resident on-site visits throughout the year at LSS Refugee to inform future medical professionals. She has appeared on WI Public Radio and WI Public Television discussing refugee trends and has presented Refugee 101 introductions and refugee overviews to HMOs, ACA Assisters and Navigators, and Public Health departments as well as the plenary session at the Our City Of Nations Conference, Milwaukee, WI, December 2015. Mary strives to follow the LSS tenets of valuing the infinite worth of the individual, diversity, interdependence, excellence, and innovation along with humor in the workplace and humane workloads for staff.