Serve Sacramento

partner - serve - change

Responding to crisis in the refugee community

Many of your heard the heart sinking news a few weeks ago: a local Afghan refugee father was killed in a bicycling accident, and his son critically wounded, just 10 days after immigrating to the Sacramento region [read the news story here]. This tragedy has left the wife and four children of immigrant Mustafa Rafi in a foreign land to grieve. One update from this story is that the son Omar has been slowly recovering as doctors are reducing sedation and his facial swelling is decreasing. Another update is the overwhelming response of the Sacramento community. A Go Fund Me Account has been set up for the Rafi family to raise money for a family trust fund. In just 13 days the account has raised $84,726 by 1,277 individuals who care. God has been connecting Christians to enter into the life of Mrs. Rafi in ways only He can orchestrate. In the midst of unimaginable pain and tragedy for a vulnerable family, we are seeing evidence of the tender love of God.

In memory of Mustafa Rafi, his family, and the population they represent in our region, we are dedicating this newsletter to providing ways you can serve the immigrant and refugee community in Sacramento-people who come from all over the world and enter into our neighborhoods feeling isolated and alone. God has a lot to say about our response to foreigners, orphans and widows in the Bible, and we have a lot to give. Several opportunities to serve are listed below. Please also consider praying for and giving towards the Rafi family at this time.

Serving with you,

Megan McCleary

Serve Sacramento Director

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Stories of Service: Refugee Simulation

World Relief Sacramento hosted its first refugee simulation on Saturday, April 28th at First Covenant Church. The purpose of the simulation was to give individuals the opportunity to experience the difficulties and obstacles endured by refugees all around the world. Participants of the experience were arranged into families and asked to play the role of a refugee family struggling to find a new life beyond the challenges of life in a refugee camp. As refugees, the participants attended an interview with an interviewer, underwent a medical screening, visited a food station, and attended a language class. At the end of the simulation, participants got to hear the touching story of a Russian pastor from Sacramento and his experience seeking refuge in the United States as a child.

This experience is meant to provide an educational opportunity as well as space for empathy to grow for the refugees in our community. The feedback given so far has encouraged World Relief Sacramento to fine tune the experience and allow the simulation to become a helpful resource in the Sacramento community. If you would like more information about an upcoming simulation or about how to set up a simulation at your church, please contact Joy Justus at

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Upcoming Event: Back to School night for Refugee Families

The Arab American Learning Center in partnership with the San Juan Unified School District is inviting hundreds of Arabic Students to attend a Back to School Night on August 8th at 7:00pm at Arcade Church. The ministry team will share a clear message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and every Student will receive Backpack and school supplies according to their Grades, New Testament for Youth or Children, the Movie DVD Jesus and Clear message about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

You can get involved by committing to pray for the August 8th outreach, sponsor a student by purchasing a backpack with school supplies (Pencils, color pencils, highlighters, composition notebooks, Rulers, erasers,Pencil sharpener, Pens, Crayons, Spiral Notebooks, Scissors, Storage Bags, Glue Sticks, Binder dividers, Pocket folders, Folders that fit in binders, printer paper), or volunteer your time by joining the team at the Arab-American Learning Center August 4th - 8th to help prepare backpacks, and help with set-up, tear-down or transportation.

If you are interested in engaging with this outreach in any way, please contact Pastor Raed Awabdeh at

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Serving opportunity: Welcome kits for refugees

Refugees often flee their homes at a moment's notice. They arrive at our airport with few belongings, a difficult past and high hopes for the future. Welcome Kits provide the basic household items they need for their new start in a place of safety. World Relief Sacramento would love to receive these welcome kits and distribute them to families in need. Details about these kits are below. For drop off information please contact
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