Current Volunteer Needs


The Cedar Springs Refugee Ministry assists Bridge Refugee Services each year by “adopting” five refugee families who are newly arrived in this country, walking alongside them as they adjust to a new home and a new life in the United States.

We are currently serving two families: a family of four, and two young single women siblings. They are all originally from the Congo, but lived in different refugee camps after they fled their home country due to war and violence.

The family of four (mother, father, 19-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter) lived in a Tanzanian refugee camp for years and speak Swahili but very little English.  The sisters, who arrived in Knoxville two months apart, came out of a Ugandan refugee camp. They speak Kirundi and some Swahili and very little English.

They are all believers, and are being connected to a new Swahili church in Knoxville that Cedar Springs has helped plant. You will also see them when they visit Cedar Springs occasionally to connect with their sponsoring church and the larger Body of Christ.

Thanks to our volunteers, we have been able to help our newest families get through many of their initial resettlement appointments over the last two weeks! Thank you for your prayers and support for these families as their journey is long and complicated due to language and cultural barriers. It is only the church of Jesus Christ that can make a real difference in their lives physically, emotionally and spiritually. Thank you for being a part of what God is doing in their lives using His church, and please keep praying! 

Here are some current specific needs for the new families, as well as others:
(In order to be culturally sensitive, we're asking men in the church to try to work with refugee men, and women in the church to work with refugee women.)

Sunday, April 22 - Pick up at 1:00 p.m.
- The family of four needs a ride to the Mountain of Faith Swahili Church to attend the worship program. The church meets at Washington Pike United Methodist Church, 2241 Washington Pike, Knoxville TN 37917.

Tuesday, April 24 - (Time TBD, either morning or afternoon)
- The family of four and the sisters need tutoring/mentoring help at their apartments or at the church.

Thursday, April 26 - (Time TBD, either morning or afternoon)
- The family of four and the sisters need tutoring/mentoring help at their apartments or at the church. 

Tutoring and mentoring opportunities are excellent ways to build relationships and share Christ.  

- Invite the sisters and/or the family of four over for lunch/dinner at your house/church to meet them, show them hospitality, and hear their stories.

If you can help with any of these needs, please contact Almaz (291-5282 or as soon as possible for more details.

Sign up to help with the Refugee Summer ESL Camp, June 19-July 26


Almaz Gemechu, Director of Refugee/International Ministry