USA (MNN) — The wait time for refugees entering the United States just got even longer. The U.S. is pausing global refugee admissions until mid-January so it can process and resettle Afghan evacuees.
In September, state leaders learned how many Afghan refugees would be heading their way. The first group of 37,000 evacuees reportedly “includes some Afghans who helped the U.S. in Afghanistan and applied for the Special Immigrant Visa.”
Currently, Afghans are starting to transition from U.S. military bases to local communities. “Afghan refugees are flooding into all the different states,” ministry co-founder JoAnn Doyle says. Doyle leads Not Forgotten, a division of Uncharted Ministries.
“We’ve got some ‘Seen’ gatherings scheduled with people in different states specifically so they can engage the Afghan refugees that are coming in.”
“Seen: Behind the Veil” gatherings teach U.S. women how to befriend Muslim women and share their faith without fear.
“If you are afraid, or you don’t feel comfortable engaging Muslims, I want you to know that you are not alone,” Doyle says.
“We want these women (U.S. believers) – wherever they are, whatever state they live in – to become a lighthouse. Reaching out to those Afghan refugees is a perfect place to start.”
The resettlement process is overwhelming for a system stripped of resources and personnel. It’s also a little scary for Afghan refugees. They’re entering a brand new world where everything is different: language, culture, geography, etc.
You can help bridge the gap. Fill out the form at the bottom of this page to request more information or host a “Seen” gathering.
“If you’re interested in hosting a ‘Seen’ gathering, please contact us. We would love to come alongside [to] coach you and teach you just how easy it is,” Doyle says.
“Muslim people are people of the heart. They are so receptive to friendship and relationship, which is one of the things they’re looking for most in our country.”
Ask the Lord how He wants you to respond, now that you know. Pray believers throughout the U.S. extend grace and the compassion of Christ to Afghan evacuees.
“We’re partnering with Crescent Project to [develop] a strategic plan to engage those precious refugees coming in,” Doyle says.
“They’re desperate; they are looking for a new place in life, and what better place to find it than in Christ?”
Header image is a representative stock photo courtesy of Kyle Glenn/Unsplash.