be • coming • us

Enlarging the Circle to Welcome Everyone

Rise Up:

Showing Love ~ Reaching Out ~ Becoming Us

We have a sacred opportunity to welcome our neighbors from every corner of the globe to our communities in a way that reflects the welcoming, inclusive heart of God. This begins by shifting our perceptions from an “us and them” mindset to thinking about how “we’re all us.” Every person has value and deserves to be treated with kindness, compassion, and dignity.

be • coming • us is an attempt to inform, include, and inspire through a small group video series, training sessions, resources, and financial grants that can help us learn and grow together. Our goal is to lovingly engage international students and people with refugee status in mutual and empowering relationships.

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RISE UP For 2018

In Matthew 25 Jesus talks about separating sheep from goats, but he’s really teaching us how he recognizes his people. You know the passage. As he invites the sheep into his eternal kingdom, he commends them for certain actions. It’s a very short list. Welcoming strangers is on it. Jesus tells the sheep that in welcoming strangers they were actually welcoming him. Then he tells the goats in refusing to welcome strangers they were refusing to welcome him! Ouch! Sounds like welcoming strangers is a big deal to Jesus! But what does it mean?

Saying “Welcome to America!” with a warm smile is a good start, but it’s not enough. The verb Jesus uses literally means “to bring together.” Elsewhere in the New Testament it is usually translated “to gather,” like a farmer gathers his wheat, or the disciples gather leftover bread. Jesus expects us to purposely enlarge our circles to include the strangers among us. Nothing less than that! But gathering people is hard. It takes intention, persistence, and humility. It’s hard because we must give ourselves, giving things is not enough.

Only through the power of God’s Holy Spirit can we welcome well. It doesn’t have anything to do with politics or economics or the laws of any earthly nation. It has to do only with the heart of God, made plain throughout the Bible. We welcome strangers because Jesus told us he expects his sheep to do so. The RISE project is interested in helping churches welcome. On this website you’ll find a video series, links to training sessions, media resources, and financial grant applications. While the initial focus of RISE has been international students and refugees, we pray churches will welcome all strangers.

After all, Jesus said it is how we welcome him.

The RISE Project Global Outreach - Your Hosts:

Endorsements

International Students - The average family has everything they need to begin reaching out to international students.

be • coming • us

Enlarging the Circle to Welcome Everyone
You can do something simple today.

Where to start - what can I do today?
The most important step for all of us in engaging with people who are resettling in the U.S. is to dedicate ourselves to learning so that we can shift from “us/them” thinking to “we’re all us.”

For International Students, many universities have “Meet and Greet” luncheon events where you can make friends with international students and even visiting scholars.

Steps to take:
Explore the Trainers section - Refugee Journey or International Students - for more information about steps you can take today

  • 1,078,822

    International students on U.S. campuses.

  • 134,379

    Visiting scholars teaching on U.S. campuses.

  • 108,433

    Intensive English Program Students.

  • 28,300

    Average number of people who flee their
    homes every day.

From the videos

The Refugee Journey - No one becomes a refugee by choice.

The Rise Project Sponsors

Get in touch

Contact The RISE Project for more information.