May 27 Speaker: Mike Bergan, Arrive Ministries

Nate Bostrom introduced Mike Bergman, the Executive Director of Arrive Ministries, a subsidiary corporation of Transform Minnesota. In partnership with World Relief, Arrive Ministries provides direct services and mobilizes churches and volunteers to welcome refugees and immigrants in our community, seeking life transformation in the process.

Arrive Ministries is recognized by the US State Department as a Resettlement Agency. Mike shared photos of refugees arriving at the Minneapolis airport and transforming their lives – starting the process of fulfilling the goal of Arrive Ministries. We were asked to imagine ourselves in the same position, after living in a world that has turned into chaos, leaving all possessions behind, fleeing to a refugee camp, then waiting, waiting, waiting for the chance to move on to safety. Mike illustrated his points with the story of an Afghan soldier who had partnered with the US military and became a refugee after threats were made to harm him and his family.

The definition of a refugee: Someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of:
• Race
• Religion
• Nationality
• Membership of a particular social group
• Political opinion

Arrive Ministries uses its resources, contacts and influences to provide housing, arrange employment, provide English language instruction, assist school enrollment and connect with friends or family already living here. Current refugees have come from Myanmar, Ukraine and Afghanistan. The number of refugees is at an all-time low due to policy requirements, but that is expected to rise. Finding housing remains the most difficult service to provide.

Even though Arrive Ministries is a Christian-based group, there is no religious restriction on who receives their assistance. Mike shared data illustrating the plight of the world’s 26 million refugees, and his personal experiences visiting a camp in Greece.

Mike asked for us to learn more at his website and through Facebook. Our support would be useful by volunteering, donating or telling others about the work of Arrive Ministries.

Phone: 612-798-4332
Address: 1515 East 66th St., Richfield, MN 55423

Additional information from the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, a source of the data presented by Mike Bergman: