Welcoming Where You Are

What can we do in our daily lives to create welcome for immigrants and refugees? How can we activate our compassion to engage meaningful change?

We had a conversation with Kitti Murray about how her faith and compassion led her to welcome and serve refugee neighbors resettling in the small town where she lived outside of Atlanta. She joined hands with neighbors to start Refuge Coffee Co., which has been featured on CNN, NBC Nightly News, American Voices, Food & Wine magazine, and NPR’s The Salt. Here are a few big takeaways from our conversation together.

Kitti shared how she got to know the refugees in her community and learned from them.

“85% of immigrants to this country have never been inside an American home.”

“The jobs offered to refugees did not lead to flourishing for them.”

“Refugees come here and they’re proud to be here. They want to be a part of this country. They love their homelands; they hate that they had to leave them. But they also really love the United States, probably in a way a lot of Americans don’t.”

No matter who you are, you are welcome.

“Welcome for everyone means welcome for everyone – no matter what side of the issues you are on, no matter who you are, no matter where you came from, no matter what bumper stickers are on your car. You are made in the image of God and we want to welcome you.”

You can extend Christ-like welcome. Start small. Start with who you are and what you can do.

“Movement toward others doesn’t have to be dramatic or epic, but there does need to be some kind of movement.”

The world is big and God is big, but I’m kind of small. And so, my interaction of being who this huge God is in this huge world where there’s a lot of need, needs to look like me. I need to be okay with the fact that what I do seems inconsequential sometimes to what other people do.”

Kitti Murray and Refuge Coffee are on an incredible journey. Their story is challenging and encouraging, and you’ll want to hear the whole thing!

You can watch our entire conversation with Kitti to hear her story and how you can activate your compassion to welcome others.