New Home, New Hope : Building Relationships with Refugee Families

Building Relationships with Refugee Families

About New Home, New Hope

Clarkston, Georgia, one of the most densely populated, diverse cities in the United States is home to thousands of refugees from Africa, the Middle East and Asia. They have left their war-torn countries for a safer, better life in America. They often arrive without a job, without transportation, without a working knowledge of the English language. They need a friend who will teach them how to maneuver their way around American customs and paperwork. They also come with strong Hindu, Buddhist and Islamic beliefs and practices.

Created through Dunwoody Baptist Church's partnership with Stephen Bandela, New Home New Hope  provides one-on-one evangelism outreach to these refugee families first by helping meet their physical needs; then by helping meet their spiritual needs through sharing the Gospel.

About Stephen Bandela

Stephen Bandela  . . . . was raised in a Christian home in India . . . . became a believer in response to the message of Christian missionaries . . . . felt called to ministry . . . . attended seminary . . . . dedicated his life to ministry among those who had not yet heard the Good News.

Dunwoody Baptist Church . . . . first met Stephen Bandela in 1996 while he was receiving missionary training at The Masters Mission in North Carolina . . . . enlisted the leadership of Stephen in 1998 to design a long-range plan to equip Indian pastors for evangelism, church planting and community-based self-help projects (called "Each One Reach One").

Bethel Bible Training Center . . . . was soon training village pastors in the Andhra Pradesh district of Hyderabad, India . . . . providing training in both theological and practical areas . . . . assigning graduates to minister in surrounding villages that did not yet have a church . . . . enabling these mission families to be contributing, self-sustaining members of their community. For example, pastors are trained not only in theology and ministry but also in farming, animal husbandry and basic business skills. And pastors' wives are trained in practical living skills and at graduation are presented a sewing machine to help them establish a presence in the local trade economy.

By 2007, Stephen had established not only a training center that sent pastors out into hundreds of villages but also a local church and a dormitory for the students. DBC and Stephen decided that it was time for Bethel Bible Training Center to be managed by local capable leaders and the Bandela family was invited to partner with DBC in multi-cultural outreach in the Atlanta area. After serving for three years as DBC's Ethnic Outreach Pastor among Atlanta's Asian and Indian communities, Stephen developed an outreach ministry called New Home, New Hope to reach refugee communities in Clarkston, Georgia.


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