Extending Support to Refugees
In a world marked by turmoil and displacement, Open Arms Refugee Ministry stands as a beacon of hope and compassion.
Open Arms Refugee Ministry strives to welcome and assist arriving refugees by connecting them with small groups from local churches in order to teach, provide support, create community, and help them become self-sufficient in their new home. It is not just an organization; it’s a collective effort to equip churches and communities in embracing and supporting refugees, providing them with the love and care they deserve.
Ministering to Refugees
Tim and Jody Cross began serving refugees as missionaries through the International Mission Board in Europe and, later, through the North American Mission Board in North Carolina. In 2016, the Crosses relocated their ministry to Greenville, SC, in order to mobilize believers and churches in the Upstate to minister to and share Christ with refugees who are being resettled in South Carolina.
Through their ministry and their time as missionaries, they have helped to resettle countless hundreds of refugees. They have witnessed hundreds of refugees become successful and productive citizens, not just surviving but thriving in their new home.
A Journey Filled with Challenges and Hope
Yusef, an individual who has benefitted from the generosity of Open Arms Refugee Ministry, shares his gripping account of escaping the clutches of the Taliban in Kabul, Afghanistan. Amidst the chaos and uncertainty, Yusef vividly describes the fear and desperation that gripped the people. With the help of colleagues in the USA, Yusef found the strength to persevere. Open Arms Refugee Ministry provided him with a glimmer of hope in the face of adversity.
Yusef’s arrival in the United States marked a turning point in his life. Initially faced with the challenges of adjusting to a new country and culture, Yusef found solace in the community provided by Open Arms, where he met Tim and Jody Cross.
Jody emphasized that refugees like Yusef possess valuable skills and talents from previous professions in their home countries. However, because of language barriers and various challenges getting identification and credidations, they often are not able to prove their skill with the correct documentation in the United States. “Often, they have to relearn how to do something else,” Jody said.
Recognizing Yusef’s expertise as a master furniture builder, Tim took it upon himself to help Yusef regain self-sufficiency. “When refugees come here, they want to be self-sufficient. They want to take care of their own families. And so my goal was to help him to be able to do that,” Tim said. Through a successful GoFundMe campaign, Open Arms Refugee Ministry was able to provide Yusef with the necessary tools to resume his craft.
Thanks to SCBaptists
Jody acknowledges the invaluable support of Janie Chapman State Missions Offering and SCBaptist churches in training and equipping communities to welcome refugees from all corners of the globe. “Janie Chapman funds part of our ministry and in a tremendous way, so we truly appreciate all those who have given to the Janie Chapman fund,” Tim said. Tim expresses gratitude for the generous donations that have allowed the ministry to flourish, including the acquisition of a complete wood shop, enabling them to create beautiful furniture pieces that showcase the skills and talents of the refugee artisans.
Because of funding provided by the Janie Chapman State Missions Offering, “There’s so many opportunities to help refugees and to help us minister to them effectively,” Tim said. Open Arms Refugee Ministry aims to equip churches and communities to extend a warm embrace to refugees, not just as a gesture, but as an embodiment of Christ’s love for humanity.