Refugee Response Resources
The RCA responds to the global refugee emergency
More than 65 million people worldwide need our help.
The RCA has been actively responding to needs created by the global refugee crisis for several years. RCA Global Mission has been able to do so through partnerships that have been built over decades of relationship and collaboration.
In 2018 and 2019 Global Mission disbursed more than $90,000 to refugee care and aid organizations, including more than $20,000 to Church World Service. Church World Service to help support the refugee resettlement from sub-Saharan Africa through the Resettlement Support Center for Africa. This Nairobi-based center serves refugees by assisting in their resettlement to a safe location.
Global Mission is also partnering with the CRC Office of Social Justice to encourage immigrant and refugee education by mobilizing congregations through a series of workshops called Church Between Borders. The goal, through small groups and coaching, is to encourage congregations to learn more about immigration, integrate this issue into their faith and worship life, become involved in the local immigrant community, and advocate for policy change.
RCA missionary JJ TenClay continues to make a deep impact working with immigrant and refugee families around the world. Global Mission’s contributions to Humanitarian Corridors in Italy, where JJ TenClay used to reside, help refugees resettle and adjust to life in a new country.
RECONCILE, based in South Sudan, has been working in refugee camps in Uganda with many people who have been forced out of South Sudan by the continued war there. Global Mission’s donations help with the current daily needs of the residents of the camp and fund livestock development to help with sustainability.
Wondering where to start?
- Church Between Borders
- If you're interested in learning more, please contact Kate Kooyman from the CRCNA Office of Social Justice (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- 12 next steps you can take to get involved with the refugee crisis
- 11 people who can help you and your church get involved
- What the RCA's creeds and confessions say about welcoming strangers
How else can we respond?
- Pray for the top refugee producing countries: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia
- Pray for the top asylum seeker producing countries: Venezuela, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Pray for the countries with the highest numbers of internally displaced people: Colombia, Syria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia and Ethiopia [Global Trends: Forced Displacement in 2018 Report, 2018]
- Pray for other “hotspots” in our world today that are not listed where people are fleeing their communities to find refuge
- Pray for God’s peace in conflicted nations and regions in the world
- Pray for the safety of every person who is forced to flee their home
- Pray that the body of Christ in every part of the world will extend hospitality to refugees and displaced people
- Encourage your congregation to participate in World Refugee Day (June 20) or World Refugee Sunday (most congregations choose the Sunday before or the Sunday after June 20).
- Contact your local, state and national legislators to learn about their views on immigration, displaced people and international humanitarian aid, and encourage their support of legislation that provides for the safety and security of those in our world who are forcibly displaced and are seeking refuge.
- Connect with Church World Service (CWS) and sign up for their Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Alerts
- Connect with CRC Office of Social Justice and sign up for their action alerts. For Canadian residents, connect with the CRC Centre for Public Dialogue and sign up for their action alerts.
- Participate in refugee resettlement in your local community. Contact your local refugee resettlement agency for more information. The easiest way to find your local agency is to search “Refugee resettlement agencies near me.”
- Have conversations with immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers in your community and build authentic relationships with them. Assist them in making sure that every day needs are met.
- Create a culture of welcoming and hospitality to refugees and displaced people in your church, local schools and medical facilities, libraries and other municipal buildings, etc. You might do this by:
- In worship: Include prayers and songs in other languages during worship, make sure to greet new guests as they enter your facility
- In schools: check in with foreign born parents of children in your schools to make sure they understand important sign up dates, communication from the school district
- In medical facilities: offer to provide transportation for those who do not drive, help explain HIPAA and other documents
- In all settings: A genuine smile and a "hello" go a long way!
- Start an ELL (English language learner) or ESL (English as a second language) class in your church or community
- Support and the encourage the efforts of RCA missionaries ministering with refugees and displaced people, including:
- Church World Service (CWS) provides many services related to the care of refugees and displaced people, including refugee resettlement and advocacy.
- CRC Office of Social Justice has resources for education and worship focused on immigration and refugee issues, as well as an advocacy center.
- CRC Centre for Public Dialogue has resources for education and worship focused on immigration and refugee issues, as well as an advocacy center.
- Partners Relief & Development—RCA Global Mission has committed to raise $40,000 on behalf of Partners Relief & Development. The money raised will provide trauma care and counseling for Yazidi children and families who were recently liberated from ISIS oppression near Duhok in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, and will rebuild a school in that same area.
- Partner with your local refugee resettlement agency. CWS, Bethany Christian Services and Interfaith-RISE all provide refugee resettlement services and would appreciate partnering with you.
- Work with JJ TenClay, missionary and Refugee Ministries Coordinator for RCA Global Mission, to discern how God might be calling you, your congregation, classis, regional synod, or community to care for refugees and displaced people.
- Financially support RCA missionaries ministering with refugees and displaced people, including:
- Financially support the Partners Relief & Development project to provide trauma care and to rebuild a school in the Kurdistan region of Iraq
- Start a new ministry serving the needs of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers in your church, or allow non-profit agencies who provide services to immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers to use your church facilities.
- Volunteer with agencies who provide services to immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.
- Donate new and gently-used clothing and housewares to local refugee resettlement agencies.