Refugee Response Resources
The RCA responds to the global refugee emergency
More than 65 million people worldwide need our help.
Of those, 24 million are classified as refugees. A refugee has been “forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence.” Another 38 million people are considered “internally displaced,” meaning they have fled their homes for the same reason as a refugee but simply have not yet crossed an international border.
In the first half of 2017 the RCA has actively responded to needs created by the global refugee crisis. RCA Global Mission has been able to do so through partnerships that have been built over decades of relationship and collaboration.
Global Mission received $10,764.24 for refugee resources in the last quarter, and $59,143 this fiscal year. It has disbursed the following: $20,000 to Humanitarian Corridors with the Waldensian church in Italy ($10,000 in February and $10,000 in August) and $18,150 to RECONCILE for the Ugandan refugee camp.
In Italy, RCA missionary JJ TenClay continues to make a deep impact working with immigrant and refugee families as they arrive in the country as a first landing spot from their homelands. Global Mission’s contributions to Humanitarian Corridors helps these fleeing refugees ease into a new environment.
RECONCILE, based in South Sudan, has been working in refugee camps in Uganda with many people who have been forced out of South Sudan by the continued war there. Global Mission’s donations help with the current daily needs of the residents of the camp and fund livestock development to help with sustainability.
Wondering where to start?
- 12 next steps you can take to get involved with the refugee crisis
- 11 people who can help you and your church get involved
- What the RCA's creeds and confessions say about welcoming strangers
How else can we respond?
- Pray this prayer for refugees. Pray for safety for the men, women, and children fleeing their homes and settling in refugee camps, and for those who have not yet found shelter.
- Pray for God’s peace in conflicted nations.
- Pray that the body of Christ in every part of the world would extend hospitality to refugees.
- Pick up or download a copy of “Stand Alongside Syrian Refugees,” a prayer and discussion guide created by World Vision. Invite others to join your persistent prayer for the people of Syria.
- Prepare your congregation to pray for and celebrate World Refugee Day on June 20, or on an adjacent Sunday.
- Church World Service has launched a new campaign called #GreaterAs1: greateras1.org. The website provides news updates, resources for addressing policy, and other suggestions for taking action.
- Follow campaigns like “We Welcome Refugees” or “Blessing Not a Burden” on social media and share their news reports.
- Contact your local, state, and national legislators to learn about their views on immigration and refugees and to encourage their support of legislation that honors the humanity and addresses the needs of the millions who have fled their homes.
- Increase your congregation’s awareness by discussing and praying over the GC2 Summit’s statement, “Christian Declaration on Caring for Refugees: An Evangelical Response.”
- Join with the RCA and many other denominations in working to make the United States a place of welcome to refugees, regardless of nationality or religion. Read the Ecumenical Declaration to Restore Welcome and Protect Hope. Print the declaration's companion bulletin insert, which includes statistics and action steps.
- Share your time by praying, doing research and growing your own awareness, and sharing what you’ve learned with your friends, family, and broader community.
- Share your talents. In your workplace, church, home and neighborhood, find creative ways to raise funds and spread the news about the refugee emergency.
- Share your treasure by contributing to the RCA refugee crisis fund at www.rca.org/refugee. These funds support the efforts of RCA mission coworkers and partner churches in Europe as they provide for the needs of refugees.
- Participate in refugee resettlement. That means enlisting the help of a community—like a local church—to support an individual or family as they strive to make a new home in an unfamiliar land.
- Partner with a resettling organization like Bethany Christian Services, Church World Service, or World Renew to welcome refugees and help them resettle in your community.
- Volunteer to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) courses.
- Donate clothing and household items to closets that specifically resource refugees.
- Global Missionaries - Support and encourage the efforts of RCA mission coworkers ministering to refugees in Europe and the Middle East
- JJ and Tim TenClay in Italy.
- Dick and Carolyn Otterness in Hungary.
- Other missionaries whose work puts them at risk.
- Church World Service - Look for a local office near you to assist with resettlement
- Greateras1.org - Resources for education and advocacy from Church World Service
- Bethany Christian Services - Look for a local office near you to assist with resettlement and refugee foster care
- World Renew (Canada) - Look for a local office near you to assist with resettlement
- World Vision - Facts, stories, and resources for prayer and action
- CRC Office for Social Justice - Resources for education and worship, and advocacy center
- WeWelcomeRefugees.com - The FAQ provides a biblical understanding of refugee care and more
- UNHCR - United Nations Resettlement Agency details the resettlement process in the U.S. and Canada
 “What is a refugee,” USA for UNHCR, www.unrefugees.org/what-is-a-refugee.