Connecting Churches for Worship, Fellowship and Outreach
This month’s SuperConnector award goes to Pastor Balam Luswata, connecting International Mission Fellowship and Bethany Covenant Churches of Stillwater, Minnesota.
After a long period of social distancing during COVID, Pastor Balam’s congregation began meeting at Bethany’s facility. Since Bethany had an available fellowship hall, the two congregations were both able to meet on Sunday mornings. Because this primarily Ugandan congregation worships in English, the two churches hold quarterly Unity Sundays sharing worship, preaching and other elements of the service. These quarterly celebrations are followed by a shared meal, creating opportunities to learn about the lives of those from very different cultures.
While Pastor Balam’s congregation is well-educated, they aren’t insiders to American systems necessary to function in everyday life. Building relationships with Americans is extremely helpful for newcomers to learn best ways to handle insurance, mortgages, job searches and more.
Many of International Mission Fellowship’s congregation are university students or graduates. A recent party for graduates celebrated those in diverse fields such as HR, agriculture, medicine and IT. Many of these young people already have green cards and will remain in the US after graduation, which is positive for our labor market. The singles and newlyweds of the church have not yet produced significant numbers of babies and toddlers. That will change before long!
Local ministry organizations reaching out to international students have understandably focused on the larger Asian student pool. It is refreshing to see someone giving attention to the African student population as well. We are networking Pastor Balam with some of these ministry organizations, anticipating they will identify ways to serve together.
You can learn about the International Mission Fellowship at https://imfmorg.org/ or contact Pastor Balam at email@example.com. You can learn more about Bethany Covenant Church at http://www.bethanystillwater.org/. May God continue to bless these two congregations as they serve together!