In October of 2021, Peace responded to the call from Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services to create a temporary field office to help resettle Afghans who were evacuated under great duress and brought almost nothing with them.
In the past year, LIRS resettled over 1400 people through their offices at Peace. Watch this moving video to see what God was able to do through LIRS at Peace! Now that the initial wave of evacuees has been given the basic support to start a new life in Northern Virginia, the original LIRS field office has closed.
But the mission to help our Afghan neighbors continues.
LIRS has moved to Phase 2. They have opened a smaller office in the basement of Peace’s Lauxman House (the office building) which will support longer term integration and self-sufficiency. This includes micro-enterprise development, individual development accounts, family strengthening, and mental health support.
Meanwhile, the offices in the education wing that LIRS previously held are now being used by REACT DC (Resettlement Action DC) in a sprint to help as many Afghans as possible apply for asylum within the short timeframe given to them. The clinic will serve Afghan parolees in Northern Virginia in need of pro bono affirmative asylum representation.
REACT DC officially opened their offices on January 18th and they will be at Peace through June 30th. In his opening remarks, Saeedi, one of the new staff members of REACT, said, “We are grateful and appreciate your good hearts. Through collaboration we can realize our dreams. You are a part of history.”
Amy Marden, CEO of REACT DC, wrote, “We’re very excited to bring critical legal services to Afghan newcomers. Pro bono attorneys have gone out of their way to offer their time and expertise. . .We’re grateful to our partners and supporters for helping make this goal a reality.”
Welcome REACT! Welcome again LIRS! And many thanks to the people of Peace Lutheran who continually open your hearts to serve your neighbors. God’s Spirit is blessing the world through you.