Can we make a difference in the global refugee crisis? John Griffith is living proof that we can. A former real estate developer and early retiree, John found his second life’s purpose in working with the American Refugee Committee and putting his skills in global development to perfect use.

Who is John Griffith? John Griffith is the head of global operations for the American Refugee Committee, an organization of more than 2,500 people that helps to improve the lives of more than three mission refugees each year. John formerly served as the commissioner of the Minnesota Sports Facility Authority, helping to bring to life the U.S. Bank Stadium that hosted the recent Super Bowl. He spent time with Target Corp. as the executive vice president of property development where he oversaw a three billion dollar budget and over 3,500 employees.

As the global head of operations at the American Refugee Committee, John puts to use his extensive background in real estate development in order to impact the most vulnerable populations around the world. Working alongside other humanitarian efforts like the United Nations High Council for Refugees, John and ARC are able to make the biggest impact as quickly as possible, bringing the hands and feet of Jesus to the people hurting the most.


“At the core of the global humanitarian crisis is a lack of love.” — John

“The problem is so large and so pervasive. Until you make it a personal connection, it’s easy to talk about numbers or see a picture of a bunch of people on a boat.” — John

“Not doing anything about the global crisis will cost you much, much more in blood and treasure in the future than it will right now.” — John

“Sometimes you are left with very difficult decisions, and as God gives you wisdom, you make the best decision that you can.” — John

“I’m not called to solve the crisis for 70 million people. But there’s a little chunk of them that I have a chance to help. I’m going to do the best job I can trying to help them.” — John

Action steps:

  • See the individual. Zoom in on a crisis and see the person who this is affecting.
  • Get personal. Meet someone who is a refugee or someone who works with them. Don’t let news soundbites be the whole of your connection to the refugee crisis.
  • Don’t normalize crises like these. Allow yourself to see what is happening and open your heart to act on what you feel when you do.
  • Every single refugee prays in some way, says Armin. When they finally find relief, may they hear from us that their help comes from Jesus. We can be that messenger.
  • The largest number of conversions in the Bible are when people are faced with crisis situations and Christians step into help, proclaiming Jesus and being His hands, his feet, and his healing. Refugees will know Him by our love.

Resources mentioned:

Ways to get involved:

We look forward to hearing from you!