Refugee Crisis: How can we help?
The world has responded with compassion on behalf of refugees, particularly those refugees who have made the difficult and dangerous journey to Europe.
CAMA and the Alliance family are also responding, both in the Middle East and in Europe. We want to take this opportunity to call on Alliance churches in the US to respond as well.
How is CAMA involved?
At the beginning of their journey: CAMA continues to give immediate relief and ongoing assistance to Syrian refugees in Jordan. This work is based out of the local church, and it includes providing refugees with household necessities, primary education, basic health care, group counseling, and follow-up visits for encouragement.
On their European journey: CAMA is contributing funds to AGAPE, a local non-government organization and long-time partner in Macedonia, to meet refugees in the Macedonian border camps. AGAPE supplies food, water, hygiene items, and other necessities to vulnerable families, and CAMA Kosovo is helping to facilitate this. In addition, CAMA and AGAPE are gathering a network of rest stops that refugees can be referred to along their journey to Germany.
European resettlement: CAMA is in discussion with Alliance international workers and local churches in Germany to assess needs of refugees arriving in that country. Pray that we will be given discernment as we consider how we can together help meet some of these needs.
US resettlement: CAMA has compiled resources and recommended partner organizations that local churches can use to reach out to refugees who resettle in their communities.
How can you be involved?
There are many different ways that Alliance church families can reach out to Syrian refugees in their communities, according to each church’s capacity:
Intensive church engagement: CAMA recognizes that the Lord will call some churches to a special and intensive involvement with refugees. We encourage such churches to partner with a recommended agency to work out the details appropriate to their communities. Intensive engagement is at times challenging, but it can also have a deep and lasting impact on both the church and those receiving aid. CAMA Director of Global Disaster Response, Gary Fairchild, is available to advise your church as you navigate these relationships (contact us).
Enthusiastic partnerships: Churches may want to work with their district superintendent to partner with other Alliance churches in their district. Alternatively, there may also be like-minded churches from other denominations in your city who want to partner. These teams of churches can pool financial resources and gifts in kind to supply aid, and they can gather volunteers to adopt local refugees. Churches can also form teams of short-term volunteers to help with the “beginning of the journey” work in the Middle East—these projects depend on international volunteers to help with distribution of aid and follow-up visits to families. Envision, the short-term mission branch of The Alliance, can help your church facilitate the logistics of a trip to help the CAMA work in Jordan (contact Envision).
Compassionate churches: Single churches can encourage their members to volunteer with or fund a recommended resettlement agency. Financial donations from churches and individuals can also be directed to the CAMA Syrian Refugee Relief Fund, which is used to fund the international projects outlined above.
Additional tips and ideas for volunteering with refugees are coming soon.
We’re here for you.
As we feed the hungry, show hospitality, provide for the needy, and look after the sick, we are doing those things for Christ (Matthew 25:34-40). CAMA is here to facilitate the resources, advice, and encouragement you need to fulfill this calling. We are honored to walk alongside you and your church as you minister to the least of these.