In Luke’s gospel, Jesus tells a story of over-the-top neighbor love demonstrated by a good Samaritan (Luke 10:25–37). This story redefines what it means to love the stranger and care for their needs, and we have an opportunity to step out in faith and obedience: over the next few months, the DC area is expected to receive around 850 Afghan refugee families—many coming only with the clothes on their backs. Fleeing from the trauma of war, entering a new country and culture, and lacking the resources to begin afresh is overwhelming, and we have the opportunity as a church to welcome these individuals and tangibly show them the love of Christ.

Respond to the developing crisis

Many of you in our congregation have asked the staff and leadership how we as a church can respond. We’re listening to you and to local organizations as we try to formulate a helpful and strategic response as a church family.

DONATE TO OUR RELIEF FUND

With the goal of making a concerted effort, we have created a relief fund for our church to deploy once our plan of action is clear. On this form, you can also sign up to get updates on our support efforts.

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OTHER WAYS TO PROVIDE SUPPORT

You can support the incoming Afghan refugee families in our area in practical ways:

  • Purchase items from this list to create welcome kits for new families to provide them some basic necessities to start off on the right foot. (While you can purchase some items directly from an Amazon wish list and have them sent to Lutheran Social Services, we suggest that you purchase the items and drop them off at the church office at your earliest opportunity so we can include a nice welcome note from our church.)
  • Consider providing temporary housing. If you have a spare room or a rental property, consider opening your home as temporary housing for a refugee family until they are more formally resettled. Find info about this temporary housing program through Lutheran Social Services or AirBnb.
  • Consider being an English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher. We hope to invite incoming Afghan families to our church to learn or improve their English skills, and we need the teaching and support infrastructure to receive them. If you have time Wednesday morning or Thursday evening to teach ESOL, contact Matt Lietzen ([email protected])
  • Share your ideas with us! We don’t want to wait for a perfect plan before we start doing good, so the above are just some ideas for immediate ways we can help. If you have any other ideas as we try to step up as a church, please pass them along to Matt Lietzen ([email protected]).

Thank you in advance for helping us love our new neighbors!

Our prayer is that our church would shine brightly and beautifully in this dark moment, and that God would use our efforts to help people see Jesus and put their faith in Christ.

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Contact

Matt Lietzen
Assistant Pastor of Missions
[email protected]