The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God. (Lev. 19:34)
No Longer Strangers assists a large refugee community residing in our immediate parish neighborhood. They are from war-torn countries in eastern and central Africa such as Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Congo, Burundi, and Rwanda, and were resettled in Dayton from various refugee camps in Africa and Europe. Refugees receive federal assistance for a short period of time during which they must find employment and become self-sufficient. This is a daunting task in a foreign country!
The over-arching philosophy of our ministry is to offer genuine Christian friendship to the refugee community. During the resettlement process, refugees experience a bureaucratic whirlwind that often produces a disturbing sense of bewilderment and isolation. As we befriend our neighbors, we have many opportunities to provide assistance in practical matters, but just as importantly, to laugh with them, share in their sorrows, and to pray with them.
Our work includes:
- English as a Second Language and literacy classes
- Sewing classes
- Micro business assistance
- Community garden assistance in collaboration with Five Rivers MetroParks
- Tutoring and Bible instruction for children
- Clothing distributions scheduled around seasonal changes
- Transportation assistance
- New household set up
- Material aid and home improvement
- Neighborhood meetings
- Social events
- Christmas caroling and Christmas food basket distribution
We are grateful for the generosity and cheerful service of our parish members and Christians throughout the Greater-Dayton area which make this ministry possible. If you would like to be involved, or for more information about No Longer Strangers, visit our website at nolongerstrangers.org.