Search

Your local office:

Help a Refugee Family feel at Home in the U.S.

It is our privilege and duty as God’s people to follow His example in loving and welcoming strangers. Our resettlement program within the United States works in collaboration with local churches, volunteers, and service providers to ensure refugee families a safe and smooth transition into their new homes.

This program is active in Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Looking for information on the U.S. refugee crisis? 

How You Can Help Refugees NOW

Statement on Revised Executive Order on Refugee Resettlement

President Trump recently issued a revised Executive Order that replaces the previous Executive Order (issued on January 27, 2017) imposing a temporary ban on most refugees: limiting the number of refugees welcome to the United States and excluding from resettlement refugees coming from some of the most war torn countries in the world. The revised order will take effect on March 16, 2017, but still imposes a temporary ban on refugees and limits the number of refugees welcome to the U.S. While Syrian refugees are no longer blocked indefinitely under the new Executive Order, the impact remains.

Bethany Christian Services remains committed to bringing and keeping families together, including refugee and immigrant families fleeing dangerous circumstances. Bethany remains deeply concerned by the revisions as they still take the hope of safety and a future from families and their children and thousands of refugees who are primarily women and children. According to The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 51% of the world’s refugee population are children. Our Christian faith calls us to care for the widow, the orphan and those seeking refuge;  our concern remains for the families and children impacted. Immigration reform should support and strengthen families, not put innocent lives in peril. Our hope is that we can work with our government officials at all levels to keep our country safe while protecting children and keeping all families safe. Family preservation and reunification is at the core of our heart and our mission.

Read Bethany Christian Services' Board Letter to President Trump Regarding the Executive Order on Refugee Resettlement »


Volunteer to Help Refugees

There are many opportunities, especially for volunteers, to help families resettle in the U.S., including:

  • Group Co-Sponsorship: Churches, businesses, and community groups may co-sponsor a refugee or refugee family. The group co-sponsor will prepare apartments with necessities, meet families at the airport, and provide English tutoring, bus training, and ongoing cultural assistance.
  • New Neighbor Program: The New Neighbor Program provides friendship and assistance and serves as a cultural bridge for adult refugees who are dealing with questions of how to live in the U.S. Local volunteers commit to three months of assistance for refugees.

  • English as a Second Language (ESL) Tutoring: All our refugee clients are put into an ESL class upon arrival. We also offer the English Tutoring Program which provides a one-on-one tutor for an adult refugee to assist in improving his or her competency in using English.

  • Bus Training: Our Bus Training Program helps refugee clients become self-sufficient in their transportation.

Donations for Refugee Resettlement

Cash donations to our Welcoming Strangers Fund helps us welcome refugee families are always needed and appreciated. We also gladly accept items on behalf of our clients. We can pick up furniture items within a 25-minute vicinity of our Grand Rapids, Michigan office.

To donate or for more information, please contact us at 616.284.3262.

What We Do

We work with refugee families for the first six months they are in the country, doing everything from meeting them at the airport and providing them a place to live, to bringing them to doctor's appointments, providing language training, and helping them find a job. The goal is to provide a safe, new community for refugee and immigrant families where they will be able to thrive as self-sufficient, contributing members of society.

History

In October of 1998, Bethany Christian Services’ resettlement program was approved to do reception and placement by becoming a Michigan resettlement affiliate of the Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program (CWS-IRP), working with the U.S. State Department to resettle refugees in the United States. In June 2016, Bethany Christian Services was approved to provide refugee resettlement and refugee youth foster care services in Lancaster, Allentown and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.