Newsletter Q2 2023

This past month has been a very eventful month for the refugee and asylum seeking community. There continues to be many refugee and asylum seeking families moving to the Austin area.  We continue to meet new families from Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Iraq, Afghanistan, Cuba, and Venezuela.  The need for assistance is great.

As you know, More Than Welcome officially launched on May 2nd. Within the first two weeks of launching, Refugee Services of Texas (RST), the resettlement agency in the Austin area, suddenly and unexpectedly announced that they were closing.  This has left many families in a desperate state. Many received eviction notices due to unpaid rent.  Many do not have their needed identification and work permits processed, and many have not been enrolled in Medicaid or SNAP food benefits.  They do not know where to turn for help.

More Than Welcome has reached out to many churches in the Austin area and other supporters are stepping forward to offer financial assistance and to volunteer their time to help our neighbors.  We were able to assist with paying rent for many families to help them avoid eviction. We were able to organize a team of volunteers to help enroll families for food and medical benefits, and apply for emergency cash assistance.  The Austin Stone Church organized a food donation drive and we were able to help distribute food to more than 40 families. We are attempting to organize some summer classes for refugee children and are assisting to find  employment as we are able. It has been a busy but beautiful time to engage with the refugee and asylum seekers community.

You can see a news article that was featured on KXAN depicting the acute needs of the refugees and how the church is stepping in to help here: KXAN story

Our ongoing goal is to be able to build a team that includes members who can be a constant resource to this community so that they will feel seen, assisted, and welcomed. This would include a case manager, interpreter, donations coordinator, and volunteer coordinator as well as a consistent link between the Austin area churches and contributors. We would love your help to help build our team. If you would like to support our greater vision, please consider donating here: More Than Welcome Donation

How can you help?

  • PRAY for God to provide for the needs of the refugees and asylum seekers in our area. May he calm their hearts, reassure them that they are seen by Him, Loved by Him, and that He can meet their needs. May they know HIM more through this difficult time.
  • PRAY for strength and endurance for those assisting the refugees and asylum seekers and their families.  That they would know they are the hands and feet of GOD who is the sustainer of all things.
  • PRAY for hearts to be opened to many so that they will see the beautiful souls of our refugee neighbors and be moved to help them.
  • VOLUNTEER to help. If you would like to assist in any way, please fill out the volunteer form
  • DONATE. The financial needs are many right now…rent, food, medicine, laundry, bus passes are all essential needs that you can impact in a great way by donating, If you feel moved to donate, you can do that here: RST Stopgap Support

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers for by doing that some have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

Hebrews 13:1-2