Refugees face down some of the most dire and difficult circumstances imaginable, fleeing their countries to escape persecution, oppression, and war. Episcopal Migration Ministries welcomes refugees to peaceful homes and hopeful futures in the United States, partnering with faith groups, volunteers, community organizations, and many other local supporters to build a foundation for success for these new Americans. In its 2011 program year, Episcopal Migration Ministries and its network of local affiliate partners assisted more than 3,600 refugees from 34 countries. From the moment they arrive in their new communities, refugee clients receive care, hospitality, and assistance from professional affiliate staff and from the hundreds of generous church volunteers who welcome the stranger through this ministry each year.
A Life of Opportunity
The stories in this newsletter all demonstrate the power of opportunity, of seizing the moment when it presents itself. In Lexington, Kentucky, refugees are realizing the opportunity represented by a new job. In Tucson, Arizona, an Episcopal school is extending the opportunity for a stellar education to a group of refugee students, and entire families are benefiting. And in communities around the United States, civic and economic leaders are finding that welcoming refugees and immigrants offers an opportunity for community prosperity that perhaps went unrecognized in the past. When you speak with refugees living in the U.S., they often refer to the United States as the Land of Opportunity – the country that gave them a new start. Together, we can work to keep that opportunity alive.