- Sundays: 9 + 11 AM
RIM (Refugee Initiative Movement) is Crossroads' response to the refugee crisis. There are currently x refugees in the world right now. Specifically the Syrian and Iraqi crisis is exploding right now. Every year the United States welcomes a limited number or HEAVILY SCREENED refugees into our country. A small number of them are re-settled in the Grand Rapids area through Bethany Christian Services.
One of the ways RIM is involved in the refugee crisis is by partnering with Bethany to sponsor refugee families that will be re-settled in the Grand Rapids area. The length of RIM sponsorship of an incoming family is approximately six months. After that time, it is the hope that they will have acclimated enough to US culture to function relatively independently, although most families still need extended assistance with many aspects of life. The first few weeks and months after a family arrives are usually the most labor-intensive. RIM has sponsored 3 families to date; the current goal is to sponsor 3-4 families each year.
Sponsoring a refugee family includes securing, furnishing, and stocking a rental home or apartment, welcoming them on arrival, befriending and praying for them, scheduling or providing transportation to appointments and activities, tutoring in English, assisting with finances/driver’s education and licensing, obtaining a vehicle, providing or helping with social interaction opportunities, assisting with employment search, assisting the family with school placement of children, helping with homework, communicating with teachers/case workers, simply visiting the family, etc. It includes assisting them with all aspects of rebuilding their lives and adjusting to the culture. RIM's goals are to walk alongside them as they adjust, befriend them, and show them the love of Christ in tangible ways.
RIM desires to protect its team members from burnout; therefore our practice is to have a large team of volunteers so the workload is spread out. There is no minimum commitment to be a team member. Each team member may be involved according to his/her interest and availability, whether that is on a regular basis or sporadically as his/her schedule allows. Obviously some opportunities are better served by regularity, such as weekly ESL tutoring or homework help for children. However, anything from providing transportation once to establishing a long-term ongoing friendship is valuable and appreciated.
For more information on getting involved with the RIM team, please contact