No More a Stranger: Reaching Out to Refugee Neighbours

News Release

 

Members of the Mortdale Stake (diocese) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined thousands of others across the Pacific for the Area-Wide Day of Service on 27 October 2018. Under the direction of President Philip Barton, individuals and families of the stake saw the day as an opportunity serve their refugee and asylum seeker neighbours by providing gift boxes that contained both food and personal hygiene items. The gifts were presented to Settlement Services International (SSI), a leading not-for-profit community organisation that assists people who have experience vulnerability, including the culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.

Representing SSI, Mr. Alexander Mantoufeh, Ms. Holly Helfant and Mr. Jeffrey Ma informed the members of the stake of simple ways in which they may provide service to newcomers to the country, such as through volunteering in the food kitchen, participating in joint social activities and becoming a welcoming friend.

Kaelyn Savea, who is the stake Young Single Adults leader, commented on the presentation by SSI, "It was a good eye-opener for me, because I always hear about asylum seekers on the news but seldom consider how close they are to our homes... This will be our next service for our young adults."

Andrew Campbell, a member of the stake presidency of the Mortdale Stake, encouraged the members of the stake to "magnify their own resources to help those who are in need." He remarked, "Today is about kindness, culture, ministering and loving our brothers and sisters. No matter where they come from, no matter what their circumstances, I testify that God loves us all. He wants us to love each other."

President Campbell also invited members to visit "I Was a Stranger- An Effort to Serve and Include", a Church website providing information on becoming involved in serving the immigrant community, for further suggestions on what they can do as individuals, families and the Church to assist.

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