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Idaho Falls couple works to provide food, funds, and fellowship to refugees

BYU-Idaho Radio · Joe and Kim Mitchell, Bridge Builders Interview
A couple of years ago, Kim and Joe Mitchell were serving a 7-year mission for Christ Community Church in Yunnan, China. They felt very welcomed by folks they met there, and when they returned to live in Idaho, they decided they wanted to provide a similar experience for refugees.  

“God poured out His grace through Jesus’ sacrifice and we wanted to overflow that grace to refugees,” Kim Mitchell said. “I can’t emphasize enough that it’s not because we are good people, or to curry God’s favor – it’s a response to God’s goodness.”? 

Their mission work largely inspired their response, and they’ve made their best efforts to share the goodness they’ve found through following God.  

Joe Mitchell said that welcoming refugees into our communities is more than just charitable, though: refugees can make great additions to our communities. 

“The refugees that we’ve connected with have been very patriotic to the United States and have shown tremendous optimism,” he said. “I think, in many ways, they’re a bigger encouragement to us than we are to them. So, I think what people may not realize is the benefits really flow both ways, and it’s not just helping somebody, or rescuing somebody, it’s not like that at all. It’s coming along someone that we also get a tremendous benefit from having a relationship with.”? 

Joe Mitchell also suggested that refugees can make great additions to our communities for economic reasons. 

“I think one thing people don’t necessarily realize is the economic benefit that refugees bring to a community,” he said. “Idaho, as a state, welcomes more refugees than you would suppose from our population, and part of that reason is Idaho has a strong economy and we need people who will come and work hard, and so welcoming refugees helps our economy.”? 

If you’re interested in helping to fund the Idaho Falls Bridge Builders' mission work, you can visit their website.