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Send Relief issues call for homes, churches to help as Afghan refugees arrive

Send Relief Care for Refugees Greg Wilton, center, asks Southern Baptists to help Afghans as they settle in the US.

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) – As refugees from Afghanistan enter the U.S., Send Relief is asking for churches and individuals to help in whatever way they can.

“Call for help, especially if you’re in-near Atlanta,” Greg Wilton, Care for Refugees director for Send Relief, posted to Twitter Tuesday (Oct. 12) afternoon. “Many Afghan families being resettled.

“Precious people. They have nothing,” he continued. “Happy to introduce you to them. We need individuals/churches to practice ongoing hospitality. Cmon (sic) church, let’s rise up.”

Wilton, who also directs the Send Relief ministry center in Clarkston, Ga., made the call as approximately 1,100 Afghans who left their home country after the re-emergence of the Taliban begin to arrive in the Atlanta area. That effort has been taking shape across the country, of course, with Southern Baptists joining others to work alongside resettlement agencies.

“These families are showing up with little to nothing,” he told Baptist Press. “These resettlement agencies provide many of their needs, but not all. This is the time for the church to come alongside as friends and minister to these people as those needs arise.”

Those needs, he added, can be providing groceries for a family, helping them navigate a new city or town or assisting them in maneuvering paperwork to secure an apartment. As Wilton experienced recently, it can also mean introducing them to a bit of America. 

“I took a group of four men to my sons’ football games and they had a great time,” he said. “They had never seen it before. Afterward, we went and ate at a restaurant that serves Halal food.”

That same night a friend of his helped a family of six get to a doctor when their one-year-old became sick and they didn’t know what to do, Wilton said. Recently, a team from Southeastern Seminary that had been working at the mission center purchased a chess board for a man who missed having his old one. 

On Sept. 10, Send Relief hosted a Care for Refugees workshop with hundreds of participants both online and in-person. As a result of it, two moms from north Georgia became involved and ultimately helped an Afghan father find a new job in their city to support his family, according to Wilton.

“Those are additional connections to the Afghan community and examples of how to help them. Be present in their lives and show them the love of Christ through meeting needs,” he encouraged.

More information on helping Afghan refugees can be found through contacting local resettlement agencies or going to Send Relief’s Afghanistan Refugee Crisis page.