Refugees are survivors, leaders, teachers, artists, dreamers and laborers. They are children, forgotten, persecuted, made in God’s image, our new neighbors and our future friends.
How can those of us receiving these families into our community best respond? Material needs and tangible service is helpful but the greatest gift we can give is friendship, community, belonging and acceptance as we value their stories, dreams and contributions.
Mobilize your family, friends, small group or church to befriend a newly arriving refugee family for six to 12 months. Ways of providing tangible care include an airport welcome, apartment set-up, provision of initial food and clothing, transportation to appointments, school registration, community orientation, English tutoring and job preparation.