Refugees in Devon
Churches in Devon are supporting the Home Office Full Community Sponsorship initiative to welcome and resettle vulnerable Syrian refugees and their families, who have fled to camps in the adjacent countries. There are two local schemes already operating and have welcomed families to their communities in North and East Devon.
TARKA Community Refugee Sponsorship in the Bideford, Landcross, Littleham, Monkleigh & Weare Giffard Mission Community is now supporting a Syrian family. While in Ottery St. Mary, ABIDE has been actively working with another Syrian family.
The support each family has received from the local community in both areas has been inspiring! Christians from different churches are coming together with people of other faiths and none to help each family settle into their new home; access schools in their area; learn English; register with a local bank, doctor, dentist, optician, job and benefits centre and the utilities. More importantly than all of these is just being good, friendly neighbours.
When Jesus was asked, “Who is my neighbour?” – He recounted the story of the stranger with a donkey who, coming across a man who had been robbed, beaten and left for dead, tended to his wounds, took him to a place of safety and paid for his care. Jesus ended this poignant tale with these simple words. “Go and do likewise.”
For further information see: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TARKACommunityRefugeeSponsors and https://www.facebook.com/eastdevonabide
Other Devon churches and communities are now exploring similar projects in their localities. If you want help starting your own communities sponsorship, please email Brian Walker. He will try to advise you.