Newsletter Q3 2023

2 refugees wrapping arms with 3 volunteers

The summer months have been eventful and rewarding for More Than Welcome. After a stressful start, due to the sudden closing of Refugee Services of Texas, we find ourselves entering Fall very grateful for the wonderful partners we have in serving the refugee, asylum-seeker, and immigrant community. We were able to partner with many area churches and individuals to bridge the needs of more than 50 different families.

We were able to pay rent over 20 times for families and individuals, helping these new neighbors avoid eviction.  We delivered food to 50 families at a crucial time.  We assisted 15 families with enrollment in medical and food stamp benefits. We helped many individuals find needed employment, enroll children in schools, and assisted with transportation to medical appointments, immunization clinics, and job interviews.  Alliance accompanied 15 teenage refugee students to camp at Highland Lakes Camp. We supported a group of dedicated teachers who taught ESL classes at an apartment complex with multiple refugee families. We helped distribute and deliver backpacks to approximately 300 students in preparation for the school year.  Your support, prayers, and generous giving has greatly impacted so many neighbors and we cannot express how grateful we are!

Of course, finding ways to feed our souls is so important, and the Lord blessed us with opportunities to connect with Him and our loved ones over the summer.  Alliance was able to return to Africa (Rwanda) to see his family for the first time in almost 10 years.  It was a sweet time of reunion and a chance to get reenergized to serve others who have walked the same path that he has walked.

There is much to celebrate and lots of blessings to look forward to this Fall.  World Relief has been approved to be a resettlement agency and they will begin accepting clients soon.  We have already met with them, and look forward to partnering with them to assist refugees successfully integrating into the Austin community.

We also have had a HUGE blessing from a generous donor…an office space for More Than Welcome and an apartment to be used for a refugee/asylum seeker family as they transition out of a shelter and into independent living. We are so excited to have a space to meet with families and individuals, to be able to offer classes, distribute donations, and to gather with those that we serve.  We are busy setting up our new space now.  We also have just moved our first family into the apartment.  This dear family from Angola is so excited to have a place of their own while they work toward being able to live independently in the Austin area.  Their joy is contagious to all who meet them.

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 and welcomed. This would include a case manager (priority need), contracted interpreters, and a donation/volunteer coordinator. We need your help to build our team.  A one-time gift is always appreciated, but if you would consider giving a recurring donation, we could achieve our goal of hiring staff to build our ministry and better meet refugee, asylum-seeker, and immigrant needs. If 100 people would commit to donating $100/month, we could achieve this goal! If you would like to support our greater vision, please consider donating here: More Than Welcome Donation.  If you or someone you know has a heart for these dear neighbors, feel free to forward this to them or put them in contact with us.  We love talking about what God is doing through More Than Welcome and the invitation He is giving all of us to participate in the Great Commission right here in our city.  

How can you help?

  • PRAY for anyone that doesn’t follow Christ to come to know His love for them as the Lord and Savior of their lives.
  • PRAY for God to provide for the needs of the refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants 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.
  • PRAY for strength and endurance for those assisting these neighbors 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, asylum-seeker, and immigrant neighbors and be moved to help them.
  • PRAY for financial provision so that we may be able to hire a case manager to consistently address the needs of our dear neighbors.
  • VOLUNTEER to help. If you would like to assist in any way, please fill out the volunteer form

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness

Lamentations 3:22-23
Refugee family outside with 2 volunteers