Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) Blogs

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

Out of chaos, HOPE

Casa Alitas Invited to Reunite a Family

PDA first learned of Casa Alitas back in 2014 when the number of asylum seekers passing through Tucson, AZ were on the rise. Much has changed in the past year following the “remain in Mexico” policy, with further restrictions put in place during the pandemic to severely limit both the number of asylum seekers released… Read more »

Refugee Ministry at Second Presbyterian Church

In recent weeks, we have shared stories about how COVID-19 has affected not only the journey of refugees but the ways in which those who provide support have had to pivot to address unforeseen issues brought about by the pandemic. Before COVID hit, the Refugee Ministry Team at Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis was ready… Read more »

A story from the San Fernando Valley Refugee Children Center

Since July 26, 2015, the San Fernando Valley Refugee Children Center (SFVRCC) has been a place of welcome and healing to the hundreds of unaccompanied children who have made the perilous journey from Central America to seek refuge in Los Angeles County. SFVRCC is dedicated to helping children and families transition to life in the… Read more »

Arabic Outreach Center Brings Relief and Hope during Pandemic

This story, recently published by the Presbytery of Des Moines, demonstrates the way in which many refugee ministries have pivoted from providing practical and long-term assistance to focusing on the immediate needs of those they serve in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Arabic Outreach Center (AOC)—an independent 501(c)3 established by First Arabic Presbyterian… Read more »

Remembering people in immigration detention during this pandemic

As the COVID-19 pandemic has spread across borders and oceans, we have gained a renewed awareness of our shared humanity within the global community. While we are all vulnerable to catching the virus, the impact upon each of those infected—and the impact of government and community actions to protect all of us from it—is different… Read more »

IOM, UNHCR announce temporary suspension of resettlement travel for refugees due to COVID-19

On March 17th, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) announced a temporary suspension of resettlement travel for refugees to their resettlement destinations.  As a reminder that there are still things we can do to learn, act, and welcome refugees already here, Church World Service has created… Read more »

PDA’s Response to COVID-19: a pastoral letter

Dearly Beloveds When did we see you? In company with the whole church—its congregations, pastors and chaplains, mid councils, and national staff, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) has entered this strange new world of pandemic, beginning our response to COVID-19 with a solidarity grant to our ACT Alliance partner in China in February, to support their… Read more »

It Takes A Village

Wendy Tajima, Executive Presbyter in the Presbytery of San Gabriel, wrote this story about a young man from Cameroon named Bertrand for their recent newsletter. Bertrand is university-educated, a devout Catholic (he made his own rosary out of thread while at Adelanto), and was working with youth for an NGO when he was warned that… Read more »

A Family Reunification Story

Minda Schweizer, an ordained Presbyterian minister and pastor to refugees, founded Home for Refugees USA after witnessing the heartfelt impact resettlement partnerships had on both families and volunteers. The nonprofit, which received some initial funding from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), builds collaborative relationships between faith groups, communities, and refugee families, helping to ease the tragedy… Read more »

Puerto Rico Update

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) has been in constant communication with our Presbyterian Leadership in Puerto Rico since January 6th, 2020. Two PDA staff members were on the island when the most powerful earthquake from the earthquake swarm (6.4) struck on Tuesday January 7th. The situation in Puerto Rico, especially in the south of the island,… Read more »