Tragic events in Afghanistan this past year have touched the hearts of us all – and have given Christians in the DMV area a tremendous opportunity to serve our new neighbors in need. Thousands of Afghans risked their lives to help US forces in Afghanistan, and, therefore, were targeted by the Taliban. The United States government provided initial help to 85,000 desperate refugees who arrived empty handed. Immigration laws, English language, lack of employment, and place to live are difficult barriers to overcome, especially alongside the emotional trauma of the loss of homeland, family, and friends. Many of those who have arrived have left thriving careers and have much to offer, while others were never given the opportunity to have an education in Afghanistan.
Each individual comes with their own story, and as part of the global family of God, we seek to serve the stranger among us and be on the forefront of compassion and effective service. Our goals are sustainable integration and thriving communities for these displaced people here in the United States.
With Afghans empowers local churches, nonprofits and individuals to help newly arriving Afghans. We offer the hope of Jesus by joining this work to welcome strangers and invite them in (Matt. 25:38) as they begin new lives here among us as neighbors and friends.
Whether you are an individual, a group, a church, a nonprofit or business, we want to invite you to get involved. We suggest 5 ways of helping:
We approach God in worship, humility, lament, and expectation as we pray:
Suggestions for intercession
Praying through scripture is an excellent way to pray. Here are two passages to consider.
Consider reading this passage, pause silently, read again, and then pray.
Scholar NT Wright comments on this passage and challenges readers this way:
“What is at stake, then and now, is the question of whether we will use the God-given revelation of love and grace as a way of boosting our own sense of isolated security and purity, or whether we will see it as a call and challenge to extend that love and grace to the whole world.” (p.128 Luke for Everyone series)
Links to Volunteer Your Time
Learn how you can lend a voice and serve alongside those providing legal assistance.
Links to ways to welcome, assist, and host Afghans.
For Individuals & Groups:
Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area : Take Action : Resettle a Refugee Family (lssnca.org)
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington (ccda.net)
For Churches: Click to be directed to Samaritan’s Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. They are partnering with Church World Service to resettle Afghans in partnership with local churches.
Links to programs and training in the NOVA area to equip an individual, group, non-profit, or church who want to tangibly help our Afghan friends
Have a question or need to discuss other ways to get involved? Contact Heather Hall, Director of Mobilization at firstname.lastname@example.org