FROM VOR’s NEWSLETTER – VOR’s IMPACT ON THE REFUGEE POPULATION OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S CORNER – Pastor Mike Long
VOR: Vision, Fall, Needs … How You Can Help!
Summer has come and gone with a bang. We had a record number of students in our Summer program and now we attempt to settle into our Fall season. I say “attempt” because the moving target of refugees and their needs seldom allows one week to look that same as the last.
Vision same … Focus changing
We will never shrink from demonstrating the love of Jesus to anyone who enters our doors, especially those who are fleeing persecution in their home country. That part of our vision will never change. But the nature of that refugee family has changed. Previously we welcomed many who went through a rigorous refugee process of vetting before arrival. Now the numbers are dominated by those who are simply showing up within our borders on a tourist visa or other entry opportunities and seeking asylum. They are all being persecuted in their home country in one fashion or another—persecuted Muslims, persecuted Christians, persecuted Kurds, and persecuted Yazidi’s. Asylum-seekers now make up over 51% of the total new registrations at VOR compared with only 23% in 2017. Our gifting and resources still equip us to best assist those arriving from the Middle Eastern or North African countries where the dominant language is Arabic.
The percentages who come from which country and their religious backgrounds may vary from month to month but the need remains the same and the task of serving them in the name of Jesus never changes
Each Fall we realize the monumental task that God has called us to fulfill and the real dollars this takes to accomplish the task. He has always been faithful. We have no doubt He will continue. That is why we are so thankful for all of our partners in this ministry—the individuals, the churches, and the corporations/companies. Our 5th Annual Gala is happening on October 3rd and our hope is that we will see more and more partners coming along side VOR with financial support. We realize that a once-per-year update and request for financial support can only accomplish so much, so this year we are asking more of you to become regular monthly donors to our efforts. If you are an individual and desire to financially support VOR you can click here and sign-up to donate as part of our growing Legacy Makers team.
Holiday Feast – In addition to the Gala, we will once again host our refugee families for a night of Thanksgiving and Celebration on November 15th. You’ll hear more about this from Jessica Hartanov as the time gets closer. As usual we will need trained volunteers for hosting tables, setting up the venue, decorating and all of the other details that contribute to the event’s annual success. It is an amazing time for relationship-building and relationship-stretching.
Christmas Home Visits – Last year we did not make it into all of the homes we wanted to during the Christmas season to deliver gifts to the children and share the story of Jesus’ birth. We will be endeavoring to reach into even more homes than ever before this Christmas.
Fall Picnic – Although it is not on the calendar yet, we will be hosting a picnic in the month of October for all of our refugee families. It is a great time to grow relationships and all are welcome.
So many of the refugees and asylees who register with VOR have very little money and very little in the area of household items. We are now in desperate need of the following items and would be extremely appreciative if you can help us fulfill these needs.
- Twin Mattresses and Bed Frames
- Portable Fans
- Infant Car Seats
- Child Strollers
- Child Jumpers & Walkers
- Diapers (all infant & toddler sizes)
- Kitchen and Cooking Supplies
It is with a grateful heart to God and to all of you that extend a huge THANK YOU for all that you do to continue to support and help the many refugees and asylees we serve.