Supporting Refugees around the World
One small way that St. Paul offerings support refugees – people stripped of everything they know – is through two organizations that directly and indirectly assist refugees.
This year, the congregation’s mission board voted to increase its giving to Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service ($1,000 to $4,000) and Lutheran World Relief ($6,000 to $6,500).
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS)
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service helps refugees and migrants travel to and settle in the United States. LIRS focuses not only on immediate action for families, but also long-term support and governmental policy change. They also work to reunite families that have been separated, particularly children.
For example, in 2014, LIRS supported services for approximately 60,000 children who fled Central America. Today, LIRS is working with policymakers to increase the number of all refugees, especially people from Syria, who are allowed to resettle in the United States.
Lutheran World Relief (LWR)
With help from over 100 partner organizations, Lutheran World Relief reached out and helped more than 4.7 million people in 35 different countries in 2014.
LWR specifically works to improve the lives of smallholder farmers and people experiencing poverty in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, both in times of emergencies and for the long-term. With the financial support of U.S. Lutherans and other donors,
LWR strengthens communities through programs in agriculture, climate, and emergency support.
Recently, in addition to quilts, baby care kits, personal care kits, and financial assistance, LWR is also supporting a coalition of more than 140 churches and faith-based organizations providing humanitarian aid to refugees in Greece, Hungary, and Serbia. The coalition is providing hygiene items, winter coats and blankets, emergency shelter and psycho-social support in two temporary camps in Hungary.