Posts Categorized: Refugee Ministry

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 »

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 »

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 »

Reflection from Agua Prieta

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 first installment detailing their encounters and experiences at the U.S./Mexico… Read more »

Walls and Chasms

Susan Krehbiel, PDA Associate for Refugees & Asylum, delivered the following sermon on Sunday, September 29, 2019 at First Presbyterian Church of Lansing, MI. The reflections about Elena and Reynaldo are from a trip she took to El Paso, TX and Ciudad Juarez with leadership from the Presbytery of Philadelphia immediately before she delivered this… Read more »

What Does Being a Nation of Welcome Look Like?

How do we—as a community, a church, and a nation—care for the vulnerable?   This is a question we are compelled to examine, particularly when it comes to refugees and forced migrants. Whatever your opinion of U.S. immigration policies, people (such as those attempting to enter through our southern border) are living in precarious situations,… Read more »

Rebirth in El Salvador

RENACERES, Red Nacional de Emprendedores Retornados, is a network of Salvadorans who have been returned to El Salvador from the U.S. or Mexico. It is just one of the integral partnerships that the Reformed Calvinist Church of El Salvador (IRCES) has formed in launching a new ministry to returnees (a term they have chosen for… Read more »

National Call-in Day on March 27th: Speak Out for Refugees Caught in Limbo

It is hard to imagine that globally 68 million people— 25 million refugees—have been forced from their homes. Faced with the largest humanitarian displacement in modern times, the U.S. Government has set the lowest resettlement target since the passage of the 1980 Refugee Act for fiscal year 2019. And yet, of this lowest goal of… Read more »