With Afghans

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. 


Matthew 25:35

  • For our Afghan neighbors to be warmly welcomed into their new homes
  • For provision of good housing, food, and other tangible needs
  • For physical and mental healing from the scars of war
  • For assimilation into a new life, for transition in learning English and ability to find jobs


Luke 10:25-36

Consider reading this passage, pause silently, read again, and then pray.

  • Pray that we would “see” our neighbor
  • Pray that we would have compassion on those in need
  • Pray that we would count the cost, like the Good Samaritan who spent both his time and his money when it was inconvenient and even dangerous to do so.
  • The Good Samaritan planned out the ways he would care for the injured man and promised to return. May we as individuals and churches “plan” for the way we might care for our Afghan friends, whom we have only just met.
  • Christians are to show “mercy” to our neighbors which means to tangibly show compassion.  Jesus instructs the listeners of this parable to “Go and do likewise.”  What does this mean in practice?


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

  • Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area


  • Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service



  • Ethiopian Community Development Council ECDC





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)


Sponsor Circles


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 heather.hall@oneheartdc.org