The congregation at Mandurah in Western Australia consists mainly of professional retirees searching for practical ways to express their faith. They have decided to take the risk of directly sponsoring a refugee family from overseas.
This all started a few months ago when they heard about a new government initiative called Community Refugee Integration Settlement Pilot (CRISP), a program harnessing community goodwill to help settle extra refugees. They put together the required minimum team of five members to sign up and set about raising the needed funds to supplement some of the refugee family expenses over the first year.
Now the day has nearly arrived for the big ‘reveal’ at the airport. It is not yet decided, but they may soon receive an Afghan widow and her 16-year-old daughter.
Imagine for a minute what these women will experience in a few weeks – getting on a plane (probably for the first time in their lives), leaving behind a world of anxiety and danger, and arriving in Perth to a wonderful welcome, a safe home, and the love of strangers from the other side of the world.
Imagine how this might unfold as they hear about the greater love of Isa al Masih (Jesus the Messiah) – that intriguing person mentioned often in the Koran.
If you would like to support the Mandurah Refugee Welcome and Support Group with a donation, visit shoutforgood.com/fundraisers/MRWSG
Find out more about the CRISP program through this two-minute video on YouTube.
Read the online version of an article featured on PerthNow here.
Craig Heidenreich is the LCANZ’s Cross-Cultural Ministry Facilitator.