Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) Blogs

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

Out of chaos, HOPE

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 »

Executive Order 13888 Puts Refugee Resettlement at Stake

By Susan Krehbiel, PDA Associate for Refugees and Asylum   Late yesterday the US Federal District Court put a stop to the Trump Administration’s latest attempt to dismantle the US refugee program by issuing a temporary injunction against Executive Order 13888 (EO 13888). This injunction bars dissenting state and local governments from preventing resettlement in… Read more »

A Complex Crisis: My Experience Interviewing Anglophone Internally Displaced Persons in Cameroon

This blog post was written by Savannah Smith, Intern at RELUFA, PDA’s partner in Cameroon. She is also a Vassar College Graduate and Fulbright Scholarship Beneficiary.   On Monday, November 11th, I had the chance to join RELUFA’s team with programming to provide temporary relief to Anglophone Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and host families in Yaoundé,… Read more »

Reflection from Agua Prieta pt. II

Bill Branch, a retired pastor and Presbytery executive, is also a National Response Team member for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. In July, Bill and his accompaniment partner, Beth Newell, participated in Presbyterian Peace Fellowship’s border accompaniment program in Agua Prieta, Mexico. The following reflection is the second installment detailing their encounters and experiences at the U.S./Mexico… Read more »