The word "refugee" sparks many different emotions these days. However, what if the reason why some (or perhaps even all) refugees were ripped out of their homes was by the design of our sovereign God, to give people who otherwise would potentially never have had a chance to hear about Jesus to suddenly be in an environment in which they could freely hear the message?
Such is the situation with a people group from one of the least-reached nations in the world, who now are trying to build new lives in the U.S. The East African country from which they came has been firmly closed to Gospel workers for over 25 years, and is well known for its persecution of Christian converts. These Muslim tribes lived in remote, rural regions of that country, and had very little chance to ever hear the Gospel. Yet, after experiencing horrific atrocities at the hands of their fellow countrymen, they fled to refugee camps. They waited many years to find a new home, and have now been welcomed by the U.S. government to be resettled in America.
As a communal society, they are drawn to gather together in pockets of the country, forming a new village tribal structure within the confines of a much larger city. Our city is home to over 95 refugee families, who have arrived without the language, education, and skills necessary to assimilate into the socio-economic fabric of life in America. This refugee community has reached out for help, and God has raised up a team of workers to engage in meeting some of their practical needs, providing a platform and level of trust in which the team can share about Jesus. This has resulted in a significant shift in the community's openness to be in relationship with followers of Jesus and to hear the message that they bring. Wanting to connect more with their heritage and culture and better provide for their families, the refugee community desires to create an urban farm in Pittsburgh. The team has been working over the last year to further this initiative. However, while the refugees were originally farmers in East Africa, the techniques and processes for urban farming are quite different. Additionally, since the United Nations would buy their all their produce, they also do not have experience with the for-profit aspects of this venture.
Thus, goers in this position will be connecting the refugee community with outside resources, assisting in locating and procuring funding, conducting market analysis, aiding with business development, and helping with the agricultural planning and approaches. This is a unique opportunity for a person that desires to be part of building an urban farm from the ground up, utilizing cutting-edge ideas, technology, and approaches in urban agriculture, all while serving a Muslim refugee community in a way that opens the door for the Gospel amongst those who have never heard!
- Servant Heart
- Team player
- Understanding of urban farming best practices
- Business/entrepreneurial savvy