Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
In our weekly updates, we share stories of our presence and impact around the world: from disaster response, to refugee and immigration ministry, to ongoing sustainable development projects in impoverished areas. Catch up on updates you missed, or find stories you want to read and share again! Or, subscribe to receive weekly email updates.
Week of Compassion is responding both locally and globally to the effects of COVID-19 and its impact on communities. To donate to this response, please designate your gifts "COVID-19 Response."
Executive Director Rev. Vy Nguyen has been traveling the past few weeks, visiting our ministry partners in the Middle East--partners who are working to meet the needs of refugees in temporary settlements. This is his reflection on yesterday's announcement that the U.S. will reduce its refugee admissions cap to an all-time low in the coming year.
In 1990, I was one of 125,000 refugees who were lucky enough to be resettled in the United States. My time in those refugee camps throughout Southeast Asia lasted only four years.
As I woke up this morning to leave Morocco for home, I heard the news that the administration set refugee admissions for 2020 at a devastating 18,000--reducing entries to an unprecedented low and further decimating the refugee resettlement program. I am heartbroken. This policy will have a ripple effect all over the world and impact millions of lives.
...for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.
I am currently traveling, visiting partners in South America, and I heard the most recent news of cruelty and abuse at the U.S./Mexico border. I was surrounded by our local partners when I saw the heartbreaking image of Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez and his young daughter, Angie Valeria. The two of them drowned trying to swim across the Rio Grande and cross into the United States.
When people hear “Week of Compassion,” many immediately think of the phrase “around the world, around the year.”
As you know, Week of Compassion is more than a week. As the relief, refugee, and development mission fund of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Week of Compassion works with partners to alleviate suffering throughout the world. Any time we respond to disaster, welcome a refugee, or empower a community to provide for its needs, we fulfill our mission--which is a mission of the wider church.
This is an exciting time for the Church, and for Week of Compassion.