By Karen Morrow, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel
There is a proverb that says, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
Refugees arrive with many needs. Our desire is not to just provide the physical things they need, but to empower them with the education to live and provide for themselves in their new home.
In July, we hosted a Women’s Health event with 22 women from Afghanistan and Syria. The women, through translation, learned about their bodies and the reproductive options available to them. Sarah, a nurse midwife, brought gynecological instruments and birth control options for them to see and ask their questions.
In August, my attention turned to providing school uniforms and backpacks for refugee children. Thanks to donations from four church partners, we distributed 162 uniforms,186 backpacks and 50 homework supply boxes. It is unforgettable to see the joy and excitement on the faces of the children when they receive a uniform or select a backpack in anticipation of beginning school in the U.S.
The Ready for School preschool class began in Monarch Pass Apartments with 14 families from Afghanistan, Sudan and Burma and with four volunteer teachers. Our second class will start this month. It’s exciting to see parents and children side-by-side learning English.
Education comes in many forms. Not all education occurs in the classroom, but also in community groups or with individual families as we teach them how to access the resources they need. Recent conversations included questions on how to enroll their child in school, where to obtain a marriage license, questions concerning a home loan for a new Habitat house, educational opportunities for a special needs child, help in finding a new apartment and job opportunities. I don’t always know the answers, but I can use my network of friends to find them.
We need your help in teaching refugees to fish and thrive. Where might you be able to engage locally to welcome an immigrant, refugee or asylee?
Karen Morrow is a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel serving in Fort Worth, Texas. To learn more about her ministry, visit cbf.net/morrow.
The Offering for Global Missions provides for the long-term presence of field personnel like Brooke and Mike. The theme for this year’s Offering is “A Place at the Table for Everyone.” In Luke 14, Jesus teaches us to invite those least expecting and, in society’s view, perhaps least deserving of invitation. CBF field personnel serving in countries around the world invite and are invited to the table as they cultivate beloved community, bear witness to Jesus Christ, and seek transformational development.
Learn more about the Offering for Global Missions and access free digital and print resources at www.cbf.net/ogm.