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Jairo de Oliveira: Refugee Ministry in Columbia, SC

By Jairo de Oliveira

In August 2016 I moved to Columbia, South Carolina, with my family (wife and son) to study at Columbia International University. A few months after our arrival we got an invitation to visit the Arsenal Hill Presbyterian Church. The church had a new pastor, Rev. Robert Turner. Due to his previous ministry experience in Turkey with Iranian and Iraqi refugees, Rev. Turner decided to embrace the refugees in Columbia and invited us to join hands in the ministry.

The church started the refugee ministry on October 30, 2016, embracing 29 Syrians from 4 different families. Later, Iraqi and Congolese refugees were added to the group, raising the number of refugees to over 40 people.

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Love Hopes All Things

By Eric Costanzo
December 20, 2017 (Originally posted by World Relief, re-posted here with permission)

What happens when an affluent, conservative, and mostly white church’s neighborhood is suddenly inundated with hundreds of international people?

That’s what happened to us.

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“Telling a Better Story” (Blog) Submission Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in submitting a guest post to be featured on the Evangelical Immigration Table’s blog, “Telling a Better Story.” Please note the following guidelines as you consider a submission to our blog:

Purpose: The primary purpose of the Evangelical Immigration Table is to encourage evangelical Christians to think about and respond to immigration issues (including, but not limited to, undocumented immigrants, refugees, victims of human trafficking, and other uniquely vulnerable categories of immigrants) in ways consistent with biblical values.

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Introducing “Telling A Better Story,” a blog from the Evangelical Immigration Table

Often the stories we hear about immigrants and immigration can be negative, focused on scary anecdotal situations or on divisive arguments over immigration policy.

As Christians reflecting on the topic of immigration, we have a better story to tell: the story of local churches welcoming, serving, and reaching the immigrants in their communities, of God’s transformative power at work in the lives of newcomers to this country, and of how God is using immigrants to bless and revitalize local churches throughout the U.S.

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