Refugee ministry worker | Lancaster, Pa., U.S.

  • Service term length or program: Long-term, Mission internship
  • Region of service: North America
  • Location: Lancaster, Pa., U.S.
  • Ministry category: Education, Community development, Hospitality

Every EMM worker's primary focus is to make disciples of Jesus. A refugee ministry worker is needed at Habecker Mennonite Church of Lancaster as it supports Karen refugees from Burma (Myanmar). Serve by meeting practical, social, and spiritual needs in a warm, welcoming environment. Preferred deadline for short-term applications is March 1 each year.

Regional vision
EMM’s vision is to see everyone moving in mission, following God’s leading to share Him within their own unique contexts. EMM will continue to work for spiritual renewal in North America and to partner with existing churches and networks as they engage in missions. We hope to foster deep and transformative movements of discipleship across this continent.

This person can be involved with any of the following activities:

  • Meeting with students after school or at their homes to help with homework.
  • Teaching a children’s Bible lesson or doing a children’s activity on Sunday mornings, either before or during the worship service.
  • Teaching an ESL class to adults either before the service or during the week; or practicing conversational English with individuals.
  • Taking families or individuals to appointments or extracurriculars (e.g. doctor’s visits, citizenship ceremonies, sports games, etc.).
  • Helping individuals learn to drive.

This opportunity can function as a full mission internship, or as a volunteer position for those who wish to serve several hours per week.

All mission interns are engaged in Launch, EMM’s discipleship training course, before and during their internships. Phase one of Launch includes personal discipleship activities through online modules. For phase two of Launch, interns spend a week learning alongside their Launch cohort (a group of other interns preparing for service) before heading to their outreach locations. In phase three of Launch, interns continue to connect online with their Launch cohort as they join a long-term missionary in the location of service.

While Habecker Mennonite Church is located in the countryside, many Karen refugees live in the city of Lancaster. Lancaster City is a small multicultural center in the middle of a county whose economy is driven by Amish tourism and agriculture. The climate has four distinct seasons, with hot, humid summers and cold, often snowy winters. Over the past decade, Lancaster has become a destination for refugees from many nations; this has significantly altered the demographics of the area. 

Those who participate in this opportunity will spend lots of time in Karen houses, which may demonstrate a standard of living that does not meet North American expectations. Karen refugees are navigating the task of holding onto their own culture while embracing that of their host country; participants will experience this mixed culture while building relationships with Karen people.  

Supervisors and colleagues
The refugee ministry worker will be working with Habecker Church members and the refugee community. They will receive some direction from pastors Chris and Dawn Landes. They will also receive supervision from an EMM staff member.

Skills and experience
Participants in this opportunity must be flexible, nonjudgmental, vulnerable with others in order to build trust, and willing to provide loving guidance in difficult situations. Applicants must be able to identify opportunities to serve and follow God’s leading in taking initiative. A motor vehicle record and child safety clearances must be supplied. Those who are resourceful and willing to ask questions on behalf of others, and who enjoy spending time with people, will do well in this role.