How does an individual, a family and a community begin to heal from trauma? What does it look like for people to flourish after profound suffering and displacement?
At present, there are more than four million registered displaced people living in our country in West Asia, primarily from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Somalia. While the local government has made significant efforts to provide for refugees needs, there are major gaps in efforts towards recovery, resilience, and the prevention of long-term and multigenerational manifestations of trauma.
In this context a local church is creating a life-giving community and a space of rest. A place for relationships. A place for hospitality. A place for practical expressions of love for those who have suffered so much. Its approach is based on current research and demonstrable needs identified through several years of ministering to refugees in the city.
Through the community centre, the church members aim to provide:
- Welcoming friendships – through being an open place for refugees; through building supportive and meaningful friendships with refugees
- Warm hospitality – through making our centre a place of welcome; through sharing tea and food together; through accepting offers of hospitality from refugees
- Emotional support – through creating spaces where people feel physically, emotionally, and culturally safe; through building volunteers’ awareness of the impact of trauma; through practicing transparency, consistency, and predictability in programming;
- Skills development and self-determination – through small group-based activities which aim to offer meaningful skills as well as a place for social connection
- Practical support – through making available some material resources (e.g. second-hand clothes, groceries) to those with identified needs
“As God’s dearly-loved and purchased people, we have been welcomed into a mutually-supportive, welcoming, and outward-facing Kingdom community,” they say. “We believe that community forms the context for all ministry, including ministry among refugees. We invite people who are refugees into a loving, caring community in ways which dignify, include, connect, and empower them.”
The UNHCR has identified churches as an important social element which can respond in welcome and assist refugees in the long, difficult work of integration. This church is well-positioned to be one such element of warmth, support, and Christian neighbour-love for refugees who are likely to become a lasting part of the city’s social fabric.
Donations to this project will fund repairs and refurbishment of the centre property, to make it a physically safe and comfortable space. In the longer-term, they can fund:
- materials for small groups (e.g. art supplies for a women’s art group, stationery for homework support, etc.),
- items to meet immediate needs for refugees (e.g. winter coats), and
- running costs of specific events (e.g. family camps).
Please join us in creating a place of life and hope.
All donations of $2 or more to this project are tax-deductible in Australia.