Memers of the Refugee Sponsorship Team are passionate about extending helping hands of welcome to people seeking refuge in America. The United States resettles more refugees than any other country in the world, and Lutheran Community Services Northwest welcomes more than 500 refugees to Portland annually.
In May 2016, St. Andrew began working with Lutheran Community Services NW to cosponsor a Muslim refugee family from Homs, Syria.The congregation responded generously to requests for household items and furniture for the family, who arrived on May 31 with only a few suitcases.
Thanks to the efforts of the Refugee Sponsorship Team, the family had a clean, well-furnished apartment to move into, a translator to help them communicate with the welcoming committee that greeted them upon arrival, a pantry filled with foods familiar to people from the Middle East, and transportation to the many appointments they must keep in their first weeks and months in their new country.
The Refugee Sponsorship Team meets as needed to coordinate all aspects of refugee assistance--everything from teaching newcomers how to use Portland's mass transit system to connecting them to local resources to learn English to extending ongoing hospitality and support.
If you would like to become involved with refugee sponsorship, please contact Sharon Fako or Phyllis Vachal.