Afghan Resettlement Ministry

Ministry Overview

We are a team of volunteers from the five Episcopal churches in the Roanoke Valley and from two other parishes in the Roanoke Convocation. We are the second ministry formed under the umbrella of our Becoming Beloved Community. Our mission is helping an Afghan family of six (ranging in ages from infancy to 82) settle into their new home in the U.S. and acclimate to a wholly new way of life and culture. They had to flee Afghanistan on very short notice, leaving behind some family and all their possessions and financial resources. They arrived in Roanoke in February 2022, and we officially became their sponsors in March 2022 as the Episcopal Community Sponsorship. (The sixth member of the family was born February 2023. She’s a beautiful girl—with American citizenship!) We supported another family for over a year, but they recently moved to Connecticut to be with more of their relatives.

Committee Members

Margaret Ann Ayers, Susan Ayers, Dan Dowdy, Joan Dowdy, Becky Harris, Boo Pack, Joe Mott, Chuck Reedy, Jan Therien (committee coordinator), Chris Turnbull, plus seven more from other parishes.

What We Do

Volunteers have helped and continue to help with the following activities:

    • scheduling and providing transportation to medical and dental appointments
    • tutoring and assisting two boys in middle and elementary schools
    • teaching English as a second language
    • navigating the route to being granted asylum, for which the family was approved in November 2023
    • financial assistance and literacy
    • cultural orientation and support toward a self-sufficient life
    • assistance when moving households
    • building intentional relationships as we cultivate a Beloved Community, and
    • “other duties as required”

We especially enjoy sharing tea and meals as we learn more about each others’ culture. Our journey has been filled with unexpected expectations, but they are all rewarding for us and our new Afghan family. We are truly blessed to be involved in this ministry as the Holy Spirit continues to guide us in the direction God wants us to go.

What We Need

More volunteers to help with the responsibilities listed above, and your continued generous financial support. You can donate via our PayPal link and include a memo for the Afghan Resettlement Ministry, or by check with ARM on the memo line. And, of course, your prayers for our families and for us.