Thank you for your interest in Afghan families being resettled in Oklahoma City!
Here are the primary ways you can join us in welcoming our new neighbors right now:
1. Help Move a Family
Bridgeway has agreed to help move four Afghan families into permanent housing after months of living in a hotel. As the Church, we have a tremendous opportunity to welcome these new neighbors to Oklahoma City. These precious image-bearers have experienced significant trauma and transition. We can extend the love of Christ by coming alongside them to bring them to a permanent home after much chaos.
We are helping to furnish apartments by buying, donating, and moving furniture and household items. Click the buttons to help:
Amazon Wish List
Furniture Donation & Moving
2. Donate Funds
Visit our giving page, select "Missions" under Fund type and add a note for "Afghan Resettlement Fund. These funds are being used to help furnish the apartments above.
There are many opportunities to volunteer in partnership with the Spero Project. This requires background checks and 2 training sessions which will include Afghan cultural information, trauma awareness, and specific training for different roles. To apply, click HERE. It is an easy application and will receive emails from Spero with updates and new volunteer needs.
Volunteer opportunities include:
- Teaching ESL (or learning how to teach ESL)
- Providing Transportation
- Driving Lessons
- Helping with Paperwork
- Tutoring for School Children
- The Spero Project is also looking for individuals, families, and small groups who want to engage on a long-term basis through the Welcome Exchange or The Network.
For more information and to sign up for upcoming training, visit the Spero Project website.
Join us in interceding for the physical, spiritual, emotional, and relational needs of the Afghan parolees as they navigate displacement from their homes and integration into a new culture. As most Muslims pray 5 times a day, consider setting a daily alarm during one of those times as a reminder to pray. You could also commit to for the people every time you watch or read a news story about them, every time you drink a cup of tea, or pray specifically for Afghan children every time you pass by or drop children off at school. These new neighbors are image-bearers who have left their home in significant distress likely never to return. They have likely left loved ones behind as well as nearly all their possessions.
- Physical needs - (housing, jobs, transportation, medical, etc.)
- Emotional needs - (trauma, relocation stress)
- Relational needs - safe relationship network, deep connection with other Afghans and the OKC community
- Spiritual needs - Most coming will be Muslim. Pray they meet Jesus
- The Church - that we would rise up in culturally sensitive ways to welcome these people made in God's image into our community and lives.
What to Know:
- Oklahoma City is expecting to receive 1000 Afghan parolees between now and the end of the year. Parole is granted by the U.S. to people for urgent humanitarian reasons. The status differs from refugees as the parolees are not given permanent status or work authorization. Both must be applied for. Each parolee is given $1,220 upon arrival.
- Of those 1000, it is estimated 400 will be school-aged children who do not speak English.
- Catholic Charities is Oklahoma City’s designated resettlement agency. They are contracted by the U.S. government to meet them at the airport and provide housing, initial job assistance, and basic orientation. They will be most involved for the first 90 days of resettlement.
- The Spero Project, an Oklahoma City non-profit, is dedicated to meeting the families and providing wrap-around services for them at Day 91 and for many years to come.
- The families arriving have experienced significant trauma. They will have left nearly all their possessions behind as well as many loved ones who remain stranded in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. These people may never be able to return home.
Jesus commands believers to love our neighbors. Leviticus 19:33-34 tells us “The stranger who resides with you shall be as one of your citizens. You shall love him as yourself…” The arrival of the Afghans provides the Church an amazing opportunity to do just that. We send missionaries to all the world. In this case, the world is coming to our doorstep. May Oklahoma City be a city of welcome and refuge!
Please contact the following members of our Afghan Resettlement team!
- Laurie Spies - email@example.com
- Alejandro Uruñuela - firstname.lastname@example.org