How Churches are Helping African Immigrants Settle in America

First United Methodist Church of Hurst (FUMCH) offers a Ministry with African Immigrants. The purpose of this ministry is to welcome African newcomers, give them hope and provide them with a sense of belonging. The following story is an example of how FUMCH assisted an African family after they immigrated to the United States. 

Bagimu, his wife and their four children arrived from Africa, through the Diversity Visa program of the United States, in January 2013. Bagimu has a bachelor degree and worked as technical director of a major oil company in Africa for 20 years. Before leaving Africa they were told that the U.S. government would give them a free apartment, pay for their utility bills, give them a job and provide them with pocket money each month. However, when they arrived they realized that was not true. They were forced to stay in a small and crowded two-bedroom apartment rented by another African family with four children. Bagimu and his wife could not find jobs because of the language barrier. They were disappointed and were even thinking about returning to Africa.

Bagimu and his family began attending First United Methodist Church of Hurst (FUMCH) and shared their situation with us. In response to their needs, Bagimu and his wife joined our English class, we helped them find an apartment and assisted them with their first month’s rent, insurance and utility bills. Church members also generously provided furniture for their new apartment (sofa, chairs, beds, mattresses, coffee tables, and others). Next we helped Bagimu with job applications which were collected from different resources. With his basic knowledge of the English language, acquired in our English program, Bagimu was able to fill out a job application in English and successfully interview. Finally, he got a job! One family from our church even donated a car for his transportation to get to work. Currently, Bagimu and his family are living in their own apartment and are no longer disheartened. We gave them hope.

Bagimu says: “My family and I would like to thank God for what He has done for us. We were lost and with no hope in this complicated system in America. Now we are saved. We give credit to First United Methodist Church of Hurst for its mission to serve newcomers from the African continent who are struggling in our area. This church is serving the Lord by giving hope to those in need. That hope brings a new life full of opportunity for us African immigrants in this country.”

 

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