Refugee Resettlement: ORPC Springs Into Action!
"Rescue the weak and the needy;
deliver them from the hand of the wicked." - Psalm 82:4
The Oak Ridge Presbyterian Church Mission Team has been working hard recently to set up an apartment for a refugee family coming into the United States. ORPC partners with Church World Service to aid in their mission. Church World Service was started in 1946, in the aftermath of World War II. Seventeen church denominations came together to form an agency "to do in partnership what none of us could hope to do as well alone." This is the mission of CWS : Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, comfort the aged, shelter the homeless.
Our present work at ORPC with CWS is in the Refugee Resettlement Program. ORPC made a commitment to furnish and set up an apartment for a refugee family resettling into the United States. This process of resettlement is long. It starts many months before the family ever gets to the US. It requires much paperwork and many approvals to have these families legally immigrate and get settled into our country. A long process that is very scary and uncomfortable for the refugee families.
CWS came to us with this need a short time ago. Our congregation came together and through the donation of goods, furniture, money and physical hands on work, we put everything in place for this family in 20 days. It is hectic and detailed but satisfying work.
Several gave through the donation of time, physical work, vehicles to move furniture and tools. This made it easier to get the vast majority of furniture moved in and set up in just one Saturday morning. As the old adage states "many hands make light work". This was fortunate as the power was not yet on in the apartment. As the morning went along, this small space started to heat up.
From the garage at ORPC, where the furniture donations were accepted and stored, to the apartment, we happily furnished a place for a new beginning for this refugee family.
This is not where this story's happily ever after ends. This is just the beginning. After getting the family settled in their new apartment, CWS continues their work of getting this family integrated in this new country. CWS and their volunteers work with the family to assist them with enrollment of children in schools and getting Social Security cards. They teach them basic things such as learning addresses, phone numbers, bus schedules and other everyday necessities. CWS volunteers assist in assessing medical needs and having them addressed, Finding employment is necessary for these families to achieve self sufficiency and CWS and their volunteers work hard to help the refugees find a job that can support them. This continued interaction helps to ensure the families can lead healthy and productive lives.
If you would like to volunteer with CWS or make a financial gift to support their mission, please click on the links below to learn more.
Mission projects at ORPC are not only fulfilling for those we are serving, but also those who serve. It is a chance to build new relationships, strengthen the ones already in place and have some fun while making a difference. It allows us to grow in our faith together and better serve those in our community and beyond. ORPC is proud to partner with CWS to help in their mission of empowering refugees and rebuilding their lives. If you have questions about mission projects at ORPC, contact Brooke Beam at firstname.lastname@example.org.