“For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger, and you invited me in…”
This familiar passage from the Gospel according to Matthew challenges us as Christians to extend our hands in friendship and support to include those He referred to as “strangers” and that we might likely refer to today as “the displaced”, immigrants”, “asylum seekers”, and “refugees”.
Understanding the needs of refugees is critical in assuring that the support we offer is meaningful and relevant. It is for that reason that we are extending an invitation to hear one of the nation’s leading experts on refugee policies and services.
Please mark your calendars for Sunday, March 5, 2023, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
At that time, Central Presbyterian Church of Des Moines will be hosting Mr. Vinh Nguyen, recently appointed member of the United States Refugee Advisory Board and currently Education Coordinator for the Des Moines Office of Lutheran Services in Iowa. Mr. Nguyen has also served as Director of ESL Education for Des Moines Public Schools and is himself a former refugee, having arrived in the United States from Vietnam in the 1970s. He brings a unique, personal perspective to the issues faced by refugee families and can speak with authority as to the difficulties refugee families encounter and the needs that these difficulties create.
More details of this event will be coming in early January. For now, save the date of March 5, 2023 on your calendar, start discussing this with your congregations and friends, and plan to join us to explore ways to expand our connections and partner with each other to welcome our new brothers and sisters to Iowa.