African immigrants are welcomed home at conference in Clay City

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CLAY CITY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – In the United States there are immigrants from Africa that have live in various locations throughout the country.

“We have people from Texas, Witchita, Kansas. We have people from Iowa, we have people from Ohio,” said Isaac Bujambi, African Immigrants Ministries coordinator.

As these immigrants grow accustomed to a new culture, Bujambi says sometimes they can feel that they are by themselves.

“They are settled in different states and it’s like they are lost, they are alone,” Bujambi said.

To help some of these immigrants realize that they are not alone in their journey.

Beginning last year, a welcome home conference for immigrants of the Free Methodist church was started at the Wabash Park Camp and Retreat Center in Clay City.

During the conferences, these immigrants meet others in similar situations and bond through worship.

“Wabash Park Retreat Center has been here for many years and we’re able to house them here and have a place where they can worship. I think it’s neat that we’ll have people from Rwanda and from the Congo and from Burundi all gathered here in Clay City,” said Dr. John Lane, superintendent of Wabash Conference.

Bishop Lubunga Venance, who is an immigrant from the Congo himself, says this is his second time coming to Clay City and this conference does make the United States feel like home.

“They are welcomed and people here are ready to receive them in spite of some cultural shortcomings,” Venance said.

The conference will end Saturday afternoon following a worship service.

Lane says as the event gets bigger, he hopes that there is more of these types of gatherings across the country.

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