The monies reimbursed for labels collected through the Label Redemption Program are used to help fund a Special Project WITHIN the Oregon Conference each year.
This is what's happening already:
1. Karens, refugees from Myanmar, have their own church service on Sabbath afternoons, in their own language, at the Rockwood Church where members have welcomved them warmly. As different needs have come up for the refugees, the church members have been available to help them. It's special to have refugee children in the Pathfinder Club.
2. Congolese refugees at the Sunnyside Church prefer to worship with the English-speaking congregation, which requires translation of the services, since they speak Kinyarwanda language, instead of English. The church members have purchased headsets that are connected with the P.A. system, and one of the church members, who is bilingual, translates the services for our brothers and sisters from teh Congo. Each of the refugee families is mentored by two church member families, helping them step-by-step with the constant challenges that come with this huge transition, and by being their friends.
3. The Oregon Conference has organized a Refugee Task Force, including a representative from each church in the Portland metro area that is involved in refugee ministires, or hopes to be. They meet once a month, sharing vital information they have learned from their refugee outreach, and helping others learn to be mentors of refugee families.
Why are our Seventh-day Adventist congregations getting involved with refugees?
Pastor Daniel Jackson, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America, stated it very simply in Adventist World – NAD, April 2017 issue:
To be an immigrant or refugee in a new and strange land presents a multitude of challenges for each person. Adapting to new and different ways of doing things and different ways of living is not easy. Many refugees arrive in America with just the clothes on their backs and speak only their mother language of their homeland.
Many different Christian organizations and churches are reaching out to refugees and immigrants in their communities, helping them with food and clothing, literacy classes, job skills training, Christian education, and transportation to and from churches. Volunteers are making a huge difference in helping these brothers and sisters feel at home in their new communities.
Funds that come from the CAN LABELS will help Seventh-day Adventist congregations meet the needs of our refugee friends.