Announcing the NEW Refugee & Immigrant Ministry Team!
What is it? We are so pleased to announce the formation of the Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church Refugee & Immigrant Ministry Team, a new ministry initiative whose focus will be to directly welcome and to support refugee and immigrant families who are in relationship with PHPC members and programs! The Refugee & Immigrant Ministry Team has already partnered alongside two families, assisting with school enrollment, connecting to immigration and medical/dental services, and much more. The purpose of the team is to extend Christ-inspired hospitality and the support necessary to walk with refugee and immigrant families as they navigate new life here in Dallas, Texas.
Who is involved? Currently, PHPC member Audrey Mitchell, has been coordinating efforts to support an eight-member family from Syria who are living in Vickery Meadows. Other PHPC members involved with supporting refugee and immigrant families include Dalene Buhl, Marcia Howard, Pat Nobles, Debbie Tunnel, Margaret Williams, Nancy Wilson, Helen Zimba, and DeLane Zipper.
- Transportation to appointments. Members who live in the 75230, 75231, and 75238 are encouraged to participate!
- Community involvement. Do you know of an event, party, or social gathering that might enrich the family’s experience here in Dallas? Invite them along! There are 5 daughters, ages 16, 15, 12, 10 and 3. Their son is 5 years old, and the family observes Muslim etiquette.
- Resource connection. We have partnered with NDSM, Literacy Achieves, Refugee Services of Texas, and Temple Emanu-El to connect our families to social services and community resources. You can assist in being a liaison with these organizations and connecting with new partners for resources and services.
How else can I participate? The Every Dollar Counts offering for the month of October will help provide funds for this ministry team. Funds will be used to cover goods and services and will not be given directly to any individuals. One of the goals is for families to have a clear path to financial self-sufficiency. Our hope is to foster mutual relationships for families to feel cared for and loved by the hearts and hands of PHPC members.
Why is this a part of PHPC’s mission & outreach efforts? PHPC has long been involved with refugee and immigrant families, especially through the founding of Literacy Achieves (formerly known as Vickery Meadow Learning Center) and through our involvement in McShan Elementary School and the Vickery Meadow Summer Reading Academy, which serve predominantly refugee students and families. PHPC’s involvement with and proximity to the Vickery Meadow neighborhood have brought many of our church members into the lives and stories of families who have been displaced from their home country and resettled here in Dallas, Texas.
The Bible offers many of its own stories of people displaced by famine, religious persecution, war, and political instability. It is through this shared experience of displacement that the God of Israel instructed God’s people to be kind to those who were foreign among them. “When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:33-34).