Alliance Samuragwa – A servant leader with a heart the size of Texas

Alliance is a former asylum seeker who left his home in Burundi in 2014. His story documents the challenges and limitations that people have when resettling or seeking asylum. During an interview with him, he elaborated on his experiences of fear, uncertainty, hunger, and gratitude towards those who helped along the journey. After obtaining his visa, he arrived in Tennessee with no job or resources, and he did not speak English. Alliance did not have asylum status, which requires an application process that can range from 6 months to a year. Struggling to find work for two years, he was able to receive food, housing, and essentials through friends or friends of relatives (word of mouth). For legal assistance and help with his asylum application, Alliance worked with American Gateways, which is an important resource for asylum seekers.

After receiving his work permit (8 months after applying for asylum status), he worked in a warehouse for 4 years doing manual labor. In 2015, Alliance began attending Gateway Church and helped refugees in his personal time throughout the years. In 2019, the church recognized his compassionate heart and offered him a full-time position to direct a ministry in supporting refugees and asylum seekers. In 2020, Alliance began partnering with Wayside Communities Church to deliver household goods, clothing, furniture, and meals in addition to visiting families for moral support. To this day, Alliance remains focused and continues to inspire and unite others towards this calling. – Elias Busuego

He (God) executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.  Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.

—Deuteronomy 10:18,19