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New Neighbors

I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me. —Matthew 25:35

Thank you Woodland family for helping us welcome our new neighbors by contributing to this Christmas fundraiser. You went above normal giving to help us reach beyond our goal of $45,000.

God’s heart has always been for the foreigners, the aliens and the immigrants, but our human tendency is usually to fear those who are different.

In sermons, Greg has taught us a little Greek to compare and contrast two approaches to outsiders: xenophobia: fear of the stranger and xenophilia: hospitality for the stranger.

  • Xeno = other, outsider, different
  • Phobia = fear
  • Philio = love

The power of the cross is that the love of xenophilia can overcome the fear of xenophobia. While human nature fears the other, the Kingdom moves in the exact opposite direction, into hospitality and inclusion.

Who we’re giving to & what they do

Arrive Ministries is an organization dedicated to living out God’s command to welcome refugees and immigrants here in Minnesota. Arrive provides practical assistance like housing and job support, while also mobilizing the church to walk alongside newcomers. In the next few months, Arrive is welcoming at least 125 Afghan refugees, including former Afghan interpreters, security personnel and their families. These were people who helped the U.S. government during the war in Afghanistan, and needed to leave the country because of likely retaliation from the Taliban.

Voice in the Wilderness and Golgotha Grace Pentecostal Church are both on-site WH partners serving different pockets of the Congolese community in Minnesota. Since 1996, armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed over 6 million people, and there are currently about 1 million refugees and asylum seekers from the country.

Both ministries help Congolese refugees who are fleeing extreme violence and unrest to achieve stability and healthy integration in Minnesota. Voice in the Wilderness is primarily focused on immigrants in the east metro, and Golgotha Grace serves many families in the west metro. They assist with challenges like food, clothing, finding jobs, learning English, and helping with rent and utility bills until refugees can find employment. They are passionate about serving and helping others, and they give arriving Congolese immigrants a place for community connection. If we’re able to raise enough money, they’re likely to purchase large vans, as many refugees in Minnesota struggle with transportation.

Once again, thank you for sharing generously this Christmas season.


"My almost-three-year-old asks every day if we can go to church. Thank you, Woodland Hills, and all the Heroes Gate volunteers for creating such a great environment for kids. My husband and I met at WH six years ago and now our son counts down the days until we get to go again. My heart could burst."

– Lindsey