As the refugee crisis continues to unfold with the evacuation of American personnel and internally displaced people from Afghanistan, The Alliance is preparing to engage in resettlement efforts here in the States. Currently, the United States has plans to resettle 65,000 Afghans. We believe that this is a God-given opportunity for our U.S. Alliance family.
Many U.S. Alliance churches are actively involved in helping immigrants and refugees get established in their new communities. The expected influx of Afghan refugees will create new opportunities for the U.S. Alliance family to further engage in these vital ministries. Alliance people in Salem, Sacramento, and other parts of the country are preparing to initiate or expand their efforts to care for Afghans who may resettle in their communities. Salem for Refugees, for instance, is currently helping to prepare for the arrival of an Afghan family of 10 by collecting gift cards and “Restart Kits” of household items. They are also assembling people to greet the family when they arrive at the airport.
In addition, Alliance military chaplains have been uniquely equipped and strategically placed to help coordinate these resettlement efforts in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and elsewhere. “The Alliance has always been a people with a heart for the overlooked and displaced,” notes Alliance President John Stumbo, “and once again we’ll find ways to respond to this critical need.”
How You Can Get Involved
CAMA and the Alliance Refugee and Immigration Network (RAIN) are joining together to help resource churches who want to engage in the resettlement of Afghan refugees. RAIN and Crown College are inviting you to a three-part Refugee Crises Webinar Series aimed at raising awareness, catalyzing churches, and providing resources and training opportunities. We would like to encourage and assist in sharing Christ’s love and compassion with refugee families as they resettle in local U.S. communities. Weekly webinar topics are as follows:
- Webinar 1: Refugee Crisis/Afghanistan: An Introduction: Wednesday, Sept. 22, 12:00 – 1:00 PM EST
- Webinar 2: Refugee Crises: Welcoming & Equipped Engagement: Wednesday, Sept. 29, 12:00 – 1:00 PM EST
- Webinar 3: Refugee Crises: Practical Training & Resources: Wednesday, Oct. 6, 12:00 – 1:00 PM EST
Register here for the webinar series. Once registered, all sessions and content will remain available to you until December 2021.
Below is a link to a FAQ document prepared by RAIN and World Relief that provides helpful details about the status of refugees, how to find out if they will be settled in or near your community, and how to minister effectively to their needs.
Will you and your church consider hosting Afghan families through resettlement agencies?
This is a long-term relational and financial commitment that could include things like covering the cost of rent, clothing, transportation, and food.
We are pleased to say that CAMA, in partnership with RAIN, will provide grants for U.S. Alliance churches willing to sponsor Afghan families through a resettlement agency. The grant will help close any financial gaps between church resources and the needs of a family.
Please contact your regional RAIN representative if you are interested in applying for a grant. If you live outside a resettlement area, please give today so that Alliance churches across the United States can welcome and care for Afghan refugees.