Many organizations advocate for immigration reform and immigration rights here in the United States. Some operate based on faith, while others do not. However, I had the pleasure and honor of speaking with the director of the Christian-based non-profit organization Women of Welcome.
Bri Stensrud is an advocate for human dignity. Her passion stems from equipping the Church to engage more steadily and tangibly in holistic human dignity issues. Bri is also an advocate and works within the pro-life movement. During her work, she faced questions about immigrants and refugees. She realized that many of the questions and concerns stemmed from fear and misinformation, so Bri started a journey to discover God’s heart for the sojourner. As stated in her bio on the Women of Welcome website.
Who Are Women of Welcome
The Women of Welcome, a non-partisan Christian organization, dedicates itself to sharing the whole truth and scriptures in understanding God’s heart for immigrants and refugees. Their mission states: We believe God calls us to a deep love for the vulnerable, the marginalized, and the forgotten. Together, we’re on a journey to understand biblical hospitality in an authentic way.
On their website, they have the Greek word for hospitality, philoxenia. Which translates to “the love of strangers.” They write, “Our mission is to follow Christ’s example of love, invitation, and generosity, especially to those who are pushed to the margins.”
How Did Women of Welcome Start
In episode 37, Bri recounts how she started this organization. It started with a study conducted about how people felt about immigration but also where they were getting their information about immigration. Data came back showing the majority were looking at immigration from a political viewpoint instead of a Biblical one first. The data also showed that the majority of women had compassion towards immigrants and refugees but did not know what to do or how to help. So, Bri and a friend put out a Bible study to see if it sparked interest.
The name of the Bible study is Ruth & Noami; it’s free and still available on their website. People have downloaded it over 130,000 times since its first release. It talks about what immigration is and revisits the story of Ruth and Noami. If you are unfamiliar with the story of Ruth and Noami, it is about two immigrating women and what they must do in order to survive.
Women of Welcome has now grown to over 150,000 women between their Instagram, Facebook private group, YouTube, and newsletter.
Since the release of Ruth and Noami, Women of Welcome has added five additional Bible studies. All are free and available for download right on their website. I’ve completed their Bible Study – What Does the Bible Say About Immigration? It was impactful, and I feel like it was important for me to do because of the work I’m doing with this podcast, so I encourage you to go through it, too!
They have three films on their website to watch. While Our Care: Child Detention Stories and Discussion, discusses how children are cared for in the United States while going through the immigration system. Who is Welcome Here Film and Study, which is a documentary about informing Christians to grow their Biblical response to immigrants and immigration in the United States. Eyes to See Film is a film about going to the southern border in 2018 to see what exactly is going on.
Women of Welcome also has a list of books about immigration they recommend to read for more educational purposes.
Listen to episode 37 of The American Dream in The Eyes of Immigrants Podcast to learn more about Bri, Women of Welcome, and their work advocating for decent immigration policies. To connect, follow them on Instagram and join their private Facebook group.
How are you actively engaging in immigration advocacy?
With Love, Heidy
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