Learn More about How to Sponsor and Assist a Refugee Family

On Wednesday, June 7 at 6 pm in the Fellowship Center, PVUMC invites you to an Open House with Hannah Miller, Faith and Community Engagement Coordinator at Refugee Focus, a division of Lutheran Social Services, and RAFT (Refugee Assistance and Friendship Teams). Last July, PVUMC’s RAFT members welcomed two Syrian families, who are now living in Mesa, on their way to self-sufficiency. In early 2017, the group agreed to help three other refugees find employment and affordable housing, as well as offer transportation and language assistance — a man from Eritrea and two women from the Congo.

At the Open House, Refugee Focus will present “Refugee 101,” which focuses on why and how refugees arrive in the United States, the countries they come from, and what we can do to welcome them. Click here for a pdf of the 2015 slide show.

Churches in Phoenix have been friends, neighbors and mentors to newly arrived refugees since Refugee Focus opened its doors in the early 80s. Several PVUMC members had a tour of Refugee Focus, and met with its director months ago with the intention of learning more about how the church could help refugees. This initiative grew out of the Interfaith Speaker Series, Who Is My Neighbor, held in the spring of 2015 in cooperation with Salaam-Chai-Paradise. Currently, RAFT is under the PVUMC Missions Ministry Team umbrella.

Keith Sobraske, who has been one of the leaders of RAFT, plans to talk about how you can get involved with RAFT, from soliciting and collecting donations of furniture to welcoming recently arrived refugees at the airport. The focus will be on what we can do as church cosponsors. Click here for a pdf of Keith’s slide show from 2016.

We invite anyone who is interested to join this effort as we move forward and live out our mission to be God’s love in action. Please email Keith Sobraske for more information on how to get involved.

Watch the video below to find out more about cosponsorship means and what you might be able to do, from donating and moving furniture, to buying groceries, cooking a meal, or taking the family out to learn more about their new city.

Visit http://www.refugeefocus.org/ to learn more about the organization and the work they do.

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