Have you ever considered volunteering for refugee ministry? If so, I have some news you may be interested to hear.
Dayton has seen a large influx of new refugees being resettled by Catholic Social Services. Many nationalities are represented including Rwanda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Congo, and Bhutan. These families fled violence and persecution in their home countries, and most of them have endured terrible conditions in refugee camps for many years.
Due to federal budget cuts, social service agencies in Dayton are unable to meet some of the requirements for refugees. One resettlement requirement is that refugees participate in English classes, but existing ESL classes are either full or don’t have funds to provide childcare. Because many of the refugees live in our immediate neighborhood, Christ the King Anglican Church recently hired a professional ESL instructor to help fill the gap.
We need your help! Many of our students have children and are unable to attend ESL classes unless there is childcare provided. Our classes are twice a week, Monday and Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. I know we are all busy people, and I can’t imagine that anyone has time to commit 4 hours a week as a volunteer childcare provider. But what about 2 hours two hours a week? Or two hours once or twice a month?
I hope to build a small army of volunteers so that we can arrange a rotating schedule for childcare providers. My goal is to have at least two adults or an adult and several young people for childcare during each class. We’d like to have games and activities that will help the children with their English skills. Sesame Street videos, children’s movies, and simple games like Simon Says are all possibilities. There may be babies that need cuddling too.
This is an excellent opportunity for you and your kids to have a foreign ministry experience right here in Dayton! Maybe your church Sunday School, youth group, or high school class would like to help with this project. I can tell you from experience that it’s a tremendous blessing to befriend our newest neighbors and help meet their needs as they settle into a new and unfamiliar way of life in our country.
If you would like to be involved in this ministry, or if your church would like to be involved, please contact me. And, as always, thank you!
Refugee Ministry Coordinator
Christ the King Anglican Church
925 N. Main St.
Dayton, Ohio 45405
H // 937-878-9826
C // 937-238-8576
bharvey @ ckrec.org