A Grand Rapids, Michigan, congregation, Holy Cross Episcopal Church, figures as a major player in the involvement of mission with local Bhutanese refugees. By setting up a garden space, Holy Cross has created a space in which refugees with limited or nonexistent English can come and work.
“We dug up the prayer labyrinth to make this garden,” said Audrey Kelly, 24, the VISTA volunteer who recruited Holy Cross. “If you look through these pathways, this is a prayer labyrinth of sorts. These people know what they’re doing.”
Holy Cross, with help from the Bhutanese, plowed the land, installed fencing and provided water. Since then, the church has hosted Bhutanese parties and ESL classes, parishioners have given assistance, including winter coats and transportation, and a few Bhutanese, who are Hindu, have attended worship services.
The involvement meets a goal to serve the neighborhood, said Ross Mast, senior warden of the church of about 70 people.