“At the moment we have an Ethiopian church, a Rwandan church, a Burmese church, a Congolese church and a Nepali church meeting on our campus. Somehow the word got out that FCC had room and was welcoming so they contacted us and said we need a place to worship and we’ve tried to find room. We have to stagger them at different times during the weekend. We don’t charge them anything, we just give them space. Most are refugees who have found each other once they made it here to the States and have gathered together and formed churches to worship in their own language.
I’ve been able to become friends with these pastors. There’s no governance, and our elders are not in oversight of them, we just give them space and try to encourage them. Occasionally we will have them as guests in our worship service. The Rwandan church had a bunch of baptisms so we suggested they do them as part of our English service so we could celebrate with them.
We started hosting the first of these churches several years ago, and it’s been fun to watch them grow. Sometimes when the pastors experience challenges they’ll come talk about it and seek guidance. It’s neat to see those relationships.
There is a huge opportunity for other churches to do things like this, especially in cities that are landing spots for refugees. Make friends with Christian refugees, help those who are forming themselves into churches, and then encourage them to reach their own. Most refugees landing here can’t speak English, so equip the Christians among each group to reach their own people.”
–Chuck Foreman, Teaching and Missions Pastor, FCC Phoenix