Refugee Ministry

Refugee Ministry

Christ Lutheran Church as a co-sponsor with Saint Francis Migration Ministries (SFMM) will be welcoming a family of ten people from the Congo in August. In addition to the parents there is a daughter, age 20; daughter, 16; daughter, 15; daughter, 12; son, 10; son, 7 and a son, 5. Another adult son (age 22) has been separated from the family for some time, however, he has now come to Wichita through SFMM and will now be able to rejoin his family. What a time this will be for them to celebrate!

The family arrives on August 28 and will be welcomed at the airport by their new friends from Christ Lutheran and SFMM. They will then go to their new four bedroom apartment at 13th and Hillside and begin life in Wichita. We have limited information about the family at this time. They are described as speaking some English which will make our job easier. Their son who has been here about one month is employed.

Our job includes housing and assistance, welcome, friendship, transportation, education and employment. With all of these tasks, we offer assistance but also work in partnership with the case worker and employment specialist in providing for care of this family over the next year. If you would like to be a part of this ministry, you are welcome to attend our next meeting, which is Wednesday, August 8th at 6:30pm at church.

The following is a list of items we continue to work on as we prepare for their arrival on August 28. Assistance with providing any of these items (or multiples of them) is appreciated and can be dropped off at church

  • Mattress & box springs
  • Dressers
  • Lamps
  • Bed frames
  • Couch
  • Kitchen table
  • Bath towels
  • Sheets / blankets
  • Pillows / pillowcases
  • Clothing in good condition
  • Alarm clock
  • Cleaning supplies (broom, sponges, plunger, etc)
  • Kitchen items (dish sets, silverware, pots, pans, utensils, etc)
  • Toiletries (soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, shower liner, etc)

CRISIS IN THE CONGO

The Democratic Republic of Congo has suffered from political instability, insecurity and violence ever since their independence in 1960. They have never had a peaceful transfer of power from one leader to the next. The most recent crisis began in ear- nest in mid-2016, however. A tribal chieftain, known as Kamwina Nsapu, called for an insurgency in the Kasai region after the Congolese government refused to recog- nize his authority in his province. Nsapu demanded that his followers expel all Con- golese security forces from the region. After months of tensions, security forces killed Kamwina Nsapu in an August 2016 raid. His followers pledged to avenge his death and stepped up their attacks on government institutions. Since then, more than a million people have been displaced, many trying to keep their children from being forced into the armed conflict. Whole villages have been burned to the ground. Thousands have been murdered and their bodies dumped into mass graves. According to their constitution, Congo’s president, Joseph Kabila, was supposed to step down from power at the end of 2016, but in keeping with history, he has refused to cede his power. The United Nations has de- clared the Congo to be one of the world’s worst humanitarian emergencies, on par with Syria and Yemen. Unfortunately, President Kabila claims that his country is not facing a humanitarian crisis and is refusing UN aid for his people. Many of the refugees fleeing the violence, war, and ethnic persecution are finding their way into refugee camps in Uganda.