Newest Neighbors Refugee Resettlement
Extravagant welcome of Stranger as Neighbor abounds in the Bible, from Abraham welcoming three strangers at his tent and through them receiving the Lord and His promise, to Jesus and the Samaritan woman, and His response to “When did we see You a stranger and welcome You?” – “Truly I say to you when you did it to the least of these you did it unto Me.”
Answering this call to love our neighbors as ourselves, a new ministry team, Newest Neighbors, has been formed to resettle a refugee family. With the endorsement of MSA, Deacons, and Trustees; Newest Neighbors has begun the co-sponsorship application process with Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) in New Haven. All refugees entering the United States are vetted through an 18-24 month process involving many government agencies. For vetting process details, please click here: www.state.gov/j/prm/ra/admissions.
Members and friends of the congregation will support, educate, and launch a refugee family who is approved for asylum in the United States. The hoped-for arrival date of the family is this summer. A family is likely to come from South America, Africa, or the Middle East and will arrive with 9-14 days notice. The family will live in an apartment in lower Fairfield County. Newest Neighbors seeks to facilitate the family becoming financially self-sufficient and independent within one year of their arrival.
How can you help?
- Join the team! Newest Neighbors seeks drivers, childcare volunteers; people with backgrounds in medical, dental, and mental health care and insurance; personal finance, English as a second language instruction; knowledge of food stamp programs and other forms of public assistance; and speakers of foreign languages like Tigrinya, Pashto, Dari, Farsi, Arabic, Swahili, French, and Spanish.
- Bring a friend! Friends outside the church are welcome to join our team.
- Donate household items! Pots and pans, dishware, flatware, glasses, a kitchen table, and two used computers are needed. Contact Joan Duncan at firstname.lastname@example.org regarding all donations.
- Make a financial contribution! Newest Neighbors will be raising money to cover the cost of rent, uninsured health care expenses, mattresses and pillows, and other supplies that are not donated.
- Help the family find employment! One of our most important gifts to a family is to help family members find a job, preferably full-time, and with benefits. Join our employment team.