Understanding the Need
Every minute, twenty four people are displaced from their homes due to war, violence, and persecution. This has led to a worldwide total of 21.3 million refugees: men, women, and children who have been forced to flee their homeland and are unable to return because they have experienced conflict or persecution. While many eventually return home, stay in a neighboring country, or continue to live in refugee camps, less than 1% are resettled into a third country. Memphis has been accepting refugees since 1975, with World Relief now being the only resettling agency in the city. We believe that this is our Gospel moment where the nations are coming directly to Memphis. You can respond directly by praying, giving, and going to partner with refugees in Memphis.
STORIES FROM REFUGEES IN MEMPHIS
We believe that there is an overwhelming Biblical command to care for the refugee, the immigrant, the foreigner, the alien, and the sojourner. Jesus was a refugee, as was other figures such as Moses, David, and Elijah. Refugees and other internationals in the city of Memphis are facing fears that many cannot comprehend or understand. Yet in the face of those fears, we serve a compassionate and sovereign God who cares deeply for the sojourner and exile, and we follow a Lord who teaches the importance of the Good Samaritan caring for the man on the side of the road. Our prayers must be in line with this heart of God. World Relief offers a 40 day prayer guide to think Biblically about refugees, which is available online or at the Front Desk. In addition, REP has provided ongoing prayer requests for their ministry.
President Trump’s executive order impacts directly the government’s federal aid provided to refugee resettling agencies. World Relief has responded by saying, “While governmental policy may change, our commitment to standing alongside the persecuted, displaced, and vulnerable remains firm- but we need your help.” You can learn how to give to both ministries directly here, or designate your online giving to either.
At World Relief, one can help assemble a Welcome Kit for new families, become part of a Good Neighbor Team that helps families adjust to American life, or work to teach English as an in-home conversation partner. At REP, one can help work with children after-school with homework, with pre-K and nursery care during the day, or teaching English to adults both during the day and at night. Our love and hospitality must not be distant, but in relationship and with our lives. For a full list of serving times and opportunity, click on "Ways to Serve" under each partner on the Local page.
Unsure where to begin? Grant Caldwell in the Serving and Outreach department for your first step!