The Albany Refugee Resettlement Ministry (ARRM) is a ministry of the Episcopal Diocese of Albany that has been serving Tri-City communities for over three decades, mainly through St. Francis Mission in Albany. Since its creation, the ARRM has endeavored to assist the small but constant trickle of displaced people from every corner of the world. This ministry aids people running from wars, totalitarian governments, poverty, persecution and natural disasters who have made their way here to our Diocese. The organization welcomes these refugees and aids their assimilation into American culture through this ministry.
The current waves of refugees coming to the Albany Diocese are fleeing ethnic persecution, violence and war in the Southeast Asian country of Myanmar (Burma). These people, predominately from the Karen, Karenni and Burmese ethnic groups, spend years running for their lives, interned in refugee camps on the Thailand/Burma border, and going through the long process of being allowed to resettle in the United States before they arrive here in Albany. Then, they are faced with a whole new set of challenges. They come to our community ill-prepared for life in the cold Northeastern United States, half a world away from their homes. They also arrive in this country knowing very little English, even less about the culture, and have very few marketable job skills.
Jesus Christ is filling some of these refugees’ needs through the work of the Albany Refugee Resettlement Ministry and St. Francis Mission. The people of St. Francis Mission assist the refugees in a variety of different ways. They help them acquire necessary clothing, blankets, and furniture, drive families to and from church every Sunday, and guide them through the process of signing up for health care and financial aid. Members of the congregation also help refugees improve their English language skills and provide them with computer skills training to aid their job searches. Through the hard work of some very dedicated volunteers, St. Francis Mission now has a functioning computer lab to provide the computer skills training. Read more about it here. The need of these refugees is very great and God has been generous in calling many enthusiastic Christians to be involved in serving His people from Southeast Asia
If you would like to get involved in this ministry or want to know more about the work of the Albany Refugee Resettlement Ministry and St Francis Mission, please contact Father James Brisbin.