Working with Refugees

General Christian Theology
Bootstrap
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Re: Refugees

Postby Bootstrap » Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:21 pm

temporal1 wrote:
Bootstrap wrote:Any advice for us? We're very much rookies at this. Feel free to post your experiences - past or present - here in this thread.

And I would LOVE to hear from anyone else working with refugees.
rookies? :?
PCUSA Disaster Assistance
https://pda.pcusa.org/page/refugee/


The agency we are working with is not that one, but http://worldreliefdurham.org/, our team has never done anything like this before.
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temporal1
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Re: Refugees

Postby temporal1 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:03 pm

my misgivings are that PCUSA is highly political, likely accepting government subsidies for refugees (link) on some important level; PCUSA beliefs would be shocking and offensive to incoming refugees.

notice gov agency logos near the bottom of this page:
https://www.worldrelief.org/

after the honeymoon period, this might cause these folks to have serious family problems in future, as families divide over what to accept and not accept. such problems are rampant here! if gov subsidies are accepted, compliance with gov mandates will be enforced.

i agree with Robert that immigration may not be the best way to aid.
i prefer to allow this new administration to have the opp to come up with better ideas.
it doesn't make sense that there is not more than one way to respond, and there may be better ways.

Robert shared an example of how trump is (already) working on supporting safe zones in cooperation with other countries.

this topic, as presented on this forum, is steeped in anti-trump politics (this thread is in the politics thread, the OP is about over riding trump.) that's as political as it gets.

you seem very happy with PCUSA, that's fine. it's wonderful to have a church family that fits so well. most folks do not come to this particular forum to be recruited to PCUSA politics, or other, whether openly, or by stealth.

if you aren't familiar with PCUSA Disaster Assistance, i hope the link will be of help to you and your church family.

i believe you when you say your church does not speak politics specifically from the pulpit.
they are politically-savvy enough to know to keep it elsewhere.
you enjoy politics so much, you probably wouldn't be satisfied with a truly a-political church (?)
(something to consider, no need to respond.)

(i imagine) appleman's experience is just as he describes, these refugees would have much in common with CM's, not so much culture shock.

i am sure at least part of your heart is in the right place. politics causes problems.
is it possible to have both? great big question.

Robert mentioned MCC:
https://mcc.org/
i do not know if/how they vary from PCUSA .. but, it's another resource.
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Bootstrap
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Re: Refugees

Postby Bootstrap » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:43 pm

temporal1 wrote:you seem very happy with PCUSA, that's fine.


No, I'm not at all happy with PCUSA. But I'm happy with my congregation, and I'm happy with the way that we are going about this. See this thread: http://forum.mennonet.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=262&p=6721&hilit=denomination#p6721. If you want to discuss how I, who have been a member of Mennonite churches most of my life and still consider myself a Mennonite, handle membership in a congregation that is part of a denomination I'm uncomfortable with, that's a better conversation for the other thread. I'd like to keep this one about refugees.

Feel free to ask questions about what we are doing with refugees in our church, or about the families we are helping, I've mentioned some of the ways we relate to political issues earlier in the thread, but I think Ernie's thread is probably the best one for discussing how we choose Kingdom approaches rather than political approaches.

I'd really prefer that this thread be mostly for people who are working with refugees to share their experiences and others to ask questions. And perhaps for us to ask questions of each other.
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mike
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Re: Refugees

Postby mike » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:53 pm

What job opportunities are available for them?
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MaxPC
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Re: Refugees

Postby MaxPC » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:55 pm

temporal1 wrote:my misgivings are that PCUSA is highly political, likely accepting government subsidies for refugees (link) on some important level; PCUSA beliefs would be shocking and offensive to incoming refugees.

notice gov agency logos near the bottom of this page:
https://www.worldrelief.org/

after the honeymoon period, this might cause these folks to have serious family problems in future, as families divide over what to accept and not accept. such problems are rampant here! if gov subsidies are accepted, compliance with gov mandates will be enforced.

i agree with Robert that immigration may not be the best way to aid.
i prefer to allow this new administration to have the opp to come up with better ideas.
it doesn't make sense that there is not more than one way to respond, and there may be better ways.

Robert shared an example of how trump is (already) working on supporting safe zones in cooperation with other countries.

this topic, as presented on this forum, is steeped in anti-trump politics (this thread is in the politics thread, the OP is about over riding trump.) that's as political as it gets.

you seem very happy with PCUSA, that's fine. it's wonderful to have a church family that fits so well. most folks do not come to this particular forum to be recruited to PCUSA politics, or other, whether openly, or by stealth.

if you aren't familiar with PCUSA Disaster Assistance, i hope the link will be of help to you and your church family.

i believe you when you say your church does not speak politics specifically from the pulpit.
they are politically-savvy enough to know to keep it elsewhere.
you enjoy politics so much, you probably wouldn't be satisfied with a truly a-political church (?)
(something to consider, no need to respond.)

(i imagine) appleman's experience is just as he describes, these refugees would have much in common with CM's, not so much culture shock.

i am sure at least part of your heart is in the right place. politics causes problems.
is it possible to have both? great big question.

Robert mentioned MCC:
https://mcc.org/
i do not know if/how they vary from PCUSA .. but, it's another resource.

I heard about the safe zone option today: it's similar to some efforts that have been used in the past in Catholic World. The huge plus is that culture shock is avoided, the language is retained as well as cultural traditions. The safe zones also became the nuclei for rebuilding communities.

The culture shock of moving to our nation created some real problems for those very attached to their land, their cultural traditions and the cemeteries of ancestors, etc.
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Bootstrap
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Re: Refugees

Postby Bootstrap » Tue Jan 31, 2017 8:59 pm

temporal1 wrote:notice gov agency logos near the bottom of this page:
https://www.worldrelief.org/


This program is coordinated with the United States and United Nations refugee programs, which do extensive screening before they arrive, and fund services after they arrive. They have government case workers, for instance, to arrange for social services, and I think the United Nations pays for their flights. We set up their apartment and help them with English and learning the culture, and act as friends.

I don't know if there are programs that bypass these agencies - I don't even know if that would be possible, given the screening requirements for refugees. As rookies, I'm happy to have some experienced professionals around who can give us advice and help.
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Bootstrap
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Re: Refugees

Postby Bootstrap » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:13 pm

mike wrote:What job opportunities are available for them?


They are going to have to learn some English first, most of the jobs are quite basic as they first get settled - the kinds of jobs people take right out of high school. Unemployment is low here, and we have Help Wanted signs at restaurants and stores, which is helpful.

One of the fathers was trained as a barber, but he is not licensed here. The other worked in a graphics shop putting logos on T-shirts and such, maybe we will be able to make a connection there. They are very eager to work, and to learn English.
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Bootstrap
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Re: Refugees

Postby Bootstrap » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:23 pm

MaxPC wrote:I heard about the safe zone option today: it's similar to some efforts that have been used in the past in Catholic World.


What we're doing is more similar to Catholic resettlement programs, which actually handle about 30% of the refugees in the United States each year.

MaxPC wrote:The culture shock of moving to our nation created some real problems for those very attached to their land, their cultural traditions and the cemeteries of ancestors, etc.


Maybe some day they will be able to go back, but for many, that land no longer exists, they cannot yet safely return to the cemeteries of their ancestors, the cities may be nothing but rubble, and they have experienced really traumatic things.

Here's something that one of our church members shared - one of the four who know Arabic:

I just wanted to say that these two families are very nice and VERY grateful for everything that has been done for them. One said that in Turkey, where they lived nearly four years, no one made them feel welcome or even gave them something to drink, whereas you have showered them with blessings and made them feel welcome. Friends, You have definitely honored the Lord with your kindness to these strangers. "For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me" (Mat 25:35 ESV)
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Bootstrap
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Re: Refugees

Postby Bootstrap » Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:58 pm

I asked one of our translators if I could share the picture of us on Facebook. The picture shows us standing at the airport holding a welcome sign in Arabic, waiting to take the two families to their new homes. I asked with a text message, expecting a routine yes.

He responded with a strongly worded no. He still has family in Iraq, and he knows about the metadata that can be extracted from pictures. He needs to make sure that people over there cannot locate him here. If they did, his family might suffer. These family members were going to be resettled in the near future, that's all on hold now.
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JimFoxvog
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Re: Refugees

Postby JimFoxvog » Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:27 pm

Bootstrap wrote:He responded with a strongly worded no. He still has family in Iraq, and he knows about the metadata that can be extracted from pictures.

It is important to respect a "no". It's good to pass on the risk of metadata in sharing digital pictures But it is good to know and share that the metadata can be removed. Here's one page explaining some ways: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/3-ways-to-remove-exif-metadata-from-photos-and-why-you-might-want-to/
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