Positively the Heartland: Church welcomes Afghan refugees

Volunteers pair with families to help with their transition
Posted at 7:46 AM, Nov 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-11 08:46:13-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The crisis in Afghanistan has made thousands flee their homes and settle across America, including in Omaha.

This inspired a pastor at Citylight Church to help 10 families adjust.

"Around 800 Afghans are going to be moving into Omaha, we thought, ok, that's something that we can do, we can come alongside them and help get them settled," Serving Team Leader Sarah Buettenback said.

"It became a group effort to then set up a house and then to welcome a family into that house and help them to feel like they had a place they could now call home," volunteer Melanie Gahan said.

Gahan says welcoming refugees is fulfilling her mission as a believer.

"That's what Jesus would do, just actually stepping in and welcoming the migrant, the refugee, the displaced, and to come alongside because most of these people are in situations that they are in by no nature of a fault of their own, it's just because of what was going on in a country," Gahan said.

Volunteers are working with the Refugee Empowerment Center, moving families into their new homes. Gahan says they are offering friendship to those feeling weary or burdened.

"Everything that they have to navigate is a challenge. Getting registered for school, getting documents to be able to work, learning how to drive, getting a vehicle, learning how to go to the grocery store here," Gahan said.

Citylight has hopes to live up to its name, being a light in this community.

"We actually have more in common than we are different and I think that when you get that proximity to people, you realize that and it just becomes connection and relationship and hearts get knit together," Gahan said.

Stepping outside the Church to be a city for all.

The Church is looking for more volunteers willing to pick up donated items and take them to families' homes. If you have a truck and want to help, visit here.

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