Welcoming New Friends | Collected
Welcoming New Friends

Welcoming New Friends

22 June 2017

This country is richer for welcoming many more wonderful and diverse people on our shores.

Our Street Teams program has had the privilege to host community events for new friends from Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Congo, (and many other nations of origin) who have arrived as refugees.

We appreciate that the identity and value of our new friends cannot be contained to the label ‘refugee’. They are gifted, intelligent, strong, courageous, resilient men and women who have overcome insurmountable odds to start life afresh in a new home.

Many of us cannot begin to imagine what it would be like to leave everything we know, our family, our friends, our livelihoods, the comforting surrounds of where we were born and raised because our life was in danger. CityCare teams have the opportunity to meet, connect with and help welcome (in every sense) new Australians, who often feel disconnected having gone through trauma to find themselves here.

And the cool thing is, it’s fun! Who doesn’t like the great Australian BBQ, a game of soccer, basketball, or gather around food and watch our children having a great time playing together!

We the church have the opportunity to build a bridge to an isolated community, who may often not have initially felt very welcomed before, and all it takes is people who committed and genuinely care.

Our programs such as Street Teams community events, running English as a Second Language classes or offering food relief is always about extending a generous ‘welcome home’.

We have found it is always best to first seek to understand before being understood, to create genuine friendships and allow our services and support to develop organically out of those relationships. As Jason Allen (CityCare COO) says, “it’s simply the church being active in our local community”

I’m so thankful Jesus operated that way with me.  Jesus stepped into my culture, immersed Himself in my world and became my friend.

John 1:14 in the Message version says:

“The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.”

Across our church locations around Australia, we are finding ways to ‘move into the neighborhood’ of our newly arrived friends. We are finding ways to extend kindness, generosity, help where it is needed and genuine friendship. And what a privilege it is to do so.

If you would like to be involved, we’d love to have you on board! Please contact your local CityCare representative, or email citycare@hillsong.com