What is Poblo Twin Cities?
What’s the Lutheran Church doing about climate change, the Afghanistan War, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, and the humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia? What? That is not the business of the church, is it? Except that some of our young people are leaving the church precisely because they say that the church is irrelevant to what is going on in the world.
What they need to know, what we all need to know, is that the Lutheran Church is involved in all these conflicts in announcing and living out good news to the refugees and immigrants who have fled these disasters. Now congregations in our area are setting up “International Friendship Centers” with the help from POBLO, affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.
The Friendship Centers reach out to people whose lives have been turned upside down in coming here. At the centers some learn English, do some family sewing, get school supplies for the kids, and learn how to become citizens. Most important they find friends who love them, stand with them, and even share their faith with them.
POBLO Twin Cities is up again after the COVID crisis. In a RESTART, programs are back underway, with a new organization, a coordinator to facilitate the work, and missionary Nadar Alaraj will be assisted by an ambassador to reach out to the congregations in the area. In this RESTART the focus is on how POBLO can help people of local congregations experience the excitement and enjoyment of working with their new neighbors.
An agnostic in Portland, Oregon, was once asked why there were so many refugees in the Twin Cities. He said, “I guess that it is because of all those Lutherans there.” Was he right?