“Ruth” is representative of many refugees arriving in America. She and her two children come from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a nation torn apart by years of war and ethnic conflict.
When government forces destroyed her village, she was forced to flee for her life with nothing more than the clothes on her back and a child in each hand. For the last 12 years she has gone from one refugee camp to another, experiencing firsthand the unspeakable injustices prompting human rights groups to label her country “the most dangerous place in the world to be a woman.” Unlawful killings, mass rape, hunger, and torture have been a sad reality for “Ruth” and thousands of her displaced countrymen…producing deep wounds, but also a profound and vibrant faith with a fierce determination to survive.
The U.S. is a compassionate nation, granting refugee status to a set number of displaced persons like “Ruth” every year. They come with almost nothing, and are provided some basic services, 3-4 months of financial support, and a chance at a new life.
In that time, they must learn a new language, adjust to a new culture, enroll their children in school, and find employment to support their family. Many make the transition well, but others (like “Ruth”) are in need of additional care and support before fully integrating into a self-sustaining life.
As the body of Christ, we are compelled to reach out to the most vulnerable in this group, knowing we have much to offer…and they have so much to give us as well. Jam. 1:27 & Lev. 19:33-34
Opening spring of 2018, we expect to immediately have a waiting list as we work with Refugee Services of Texas (RST), and possibly YMCA International Services and Catholic Charities, receiving the most vulnerable of the women who come to them from UNHCR refugee camps. The most likely people group is from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). We expect these women and children coming from such a rural, hostile environment to need additional time to rest, heal, and adjust to American culture, before beginning their resettlement process through RST and the government agencies.