Updated: Dec 20, 2019
“Our core conviction is that the church is God’s solution to the unprecedented global crisis, and it requires us to rise up to respond in mission-driven, fact-based ways to this tremendous crisis.” -Matt Soerens, Seeking Refuge: on the Shores of the Global Refugee Crisis
The following organizations work to help refugees and others in crisis. Some work on the international level and others work locally. All do their work in the name of Jesus.
1. Samaritan’s Purse
a. Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet the needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ. They work to provide food, water, medicine, shelter, and supplies to areas that have been struck by any sort of disaster.
b. If you are interested in volunteering there are a few different sectors you could join: U.S. disaster relief, construction, operation christmas child, and world medical mission. Additionally, Samaritan’s Purse has many opportunities for employment and they have an intern program, an apprentice program, and a post-residency program.
Read more about how to get involved:https://www.samaritanspurse.org/
2. Catholic Relief Services
a. Catholic Relief Services is motivated by the Gospel of Jesus Christ to cherish, preserve and uphold the sacredness and dignity of all human life, foster charity and justice. They aim to promote human development by responding to major emergencies, fighting disease and poverty, and nurturing peaceful and just societies.
b. There are a few different ways to get involved in the work that Catholic Relief Services does: you could become an educator or a leader, you could learn how to become an advocate, or you participate by volunteering at different events.
Read more about how to get involved: https://www.crs.org/
3. World Relief
a. For over 75 years, across 100 countries, World Relief has been tackling the world’s greatest problems with sustainable solutions, transforming communities from the inside out. Today, World Relief works in 20 countries and has 19 U.S. offices to serve over 5 million vulnerable people each year.
b. World Relief’s values and mission statement is threefold.
i.Being church centered - “Working with the local church is not only a good strategy, it’s at the very heart of our work. We believe that God gave us a plan to save our broken world, and that it begins with his church, and his people, leading the way. We want to see local churches creating and leading change in their communities.”
ii.Transformation of the whole person- mind, body and spirit (in a holistic way). Their programs focus on addressing the root causes of poverty and vulnerability that often stem from harmful beliefs and practices. Beyond physical change, they focus on driving mental, social, and spiritual transformation.
iii.Sustainable solutions. They address the understand that lasting change requires more than quick fixes and band-aid solutions. That’s why they rely on local leaders to implement their programs - over 95% of their staff are local people who know and love their communities and will remain long after World Relief departs.
Read more about how to get involved: https://worldrelief.org/
4. Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services
a. The mission of LIRS states, “As a witness to God’s love for all people, we stand with and advocate for migrants and refugees, transforming communities through ministries of service and justice.”
b. Some of the work that LIRS does involves: Refugee resettlement, empowering new Americans and welcoming migrants
c. Learn more about how to get involved with LIRS, go to https://www.lirs.org/our-work/
5. Houston Welcomes Refugees
a. “Our mission is to help ease the resettlement process for refugees coming to Houston by mobilizing invested, caring volunteers, fostering hope amidst crisis.”
b. How to get involved:
-get your church involved in putting together “Welcome Kits” for arriving families
-Be a “ Welcome Team” member
-Be a “Move in Team “ member
Here is how to learn more: https://www.houstonwelcomesrefugees.com/
"This is what the Lord Almighty said: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the foreigner or the poor. Do not plot evil against each other.’ Zechariah 7:9-10