Refugee resettlement

Afghan Refugee Ministry

For over 40 years Trinity has supported refugee families seeking asylum in our country and in our community. In 1979 Trinity welcomed its first immigrant family from Vietnam. We are now assisting four Afghan families, who left Afghanistan in August of 2021 with the US military withdrawal. They were able to leave because of their work assisting our military or their work with the US Embassy. Their number, now 13, includes 2 new babies, new US citizens, born this summer. Much of our culture is brand new to them. Many things that we take for granted (car seats for infants, insurance, expensive medical care, lines in parking lots!) are unlike what they experienced in Afghanistan.

Years ago, Marian Detwiler left $6000 as an endowment for refugee assistance. With those funds plus over $5000 that has been donated since March, we have been able to support our families with such necessities as rent payments, outfitting a home and assistance with grocery bills. We continue to supplement rent, medical expenses and some education expenses. We provide many rides to doctor and dentist appointments, for shopping and transportation to work if needed. We have learned much about government programs, medical assistance, and the WIC (women, infant and children nutrition) program. All of the adults, save one, are employed, including the two new moms who returned to work part-time within 6 weeks. Their employment is entry level as they strive to learn English, a necessity for improved employment opportunities. Two of the men are in school for commercial driver’s licenses. The support these families require is thought to be time-limited, as they have demonstrated motivation and willingness to work hard to find a way to be independent in the United States.

We had expected that after nine months they would be able to cover all of their expenses. While they strive to be independent, for several families this has not been the case. For several of the adult heads of family, $10,000 in legal fees are needed for immigration attorneys. This is an unexpected expense.

We now find it necessary to appeal to the congregation for additional gifts to assist with the unanticipated costs. Trinity’s Endowment Fund will match donations by the congregation up to a maximum of $10,000.

Funds will be used to supplement rent payments, medical and dental expenses into next year, legal fees to assist in obtaining permanent resident status, and lastly to build a reserve in the Refugee Fund to be used as seed money for the next group of refugees who arrive in Lansdale.

At Trinity, we are called to embrace diversity and are blessed to be able to welcome those in need and share our gifts with those who have fled unlivable conditions in their home countries. We have an opportunity to live out our mission by assisting our Afghan families with their immediate and long-term needs. We humbly ask for your support, and for your prayers for these pressing needs. You can write a check with Memo: Refugee Resettlement, or donate online at: Thank you for your continued support and generosity. 

You can reach out to Karen Wright, or 215-817-0964 or Linda Williams (610-389-8066) with questions or to volunteer.