To Refugees, with Love

refugee children registering for school

It looked like a normal apartment complex in the western part of Las Vegas, Nevada. Vickie McDaniel and her husband, Eric, went to check it out, but they weren’t interested in the actual facilities . . . just the occupants—refugees.

It was just supposed to be a time of prayerwalking and asking God’s love to shine. But God had bigger plans! He asked the North American Mission Board church planters to move to this complex and let the refugees experience His love firsthand.

“We prayed daily, spent time in His Word, and allowed the Holy Spirit to show us where God is at work in our community,” Vickie McDaniel explained. “God spoke to Eric and I. He wanted us to move so as to be more accessible. . . . This allowed us to meet, help, love, and build relationships.”

These relationships are the foundation to the ministry God called them to in Las Vegas. The couple are planting a church among the refugees but also work to assist all refugees in their community. Vickie McDaniel serves as the director of the Safely Home Refugee Ministry Life Skills Center West (LSCW).

She assists refugees with learning daily life skills to live successfully in her city. Besides classes, the life skills center assists with medical appointments, learning to navigate the metro transportation system, and filling out job applications.

“We even host baby showers for new mothers,” Vickie McDaniel added. Most of the young mothers have no other family around to help, so the LSCW steps in to fill the void until the refugees’ network is built.

“We do what we do to live out God’s calling on our lives to further the kingdom of God,” she said. “It’s all about spending time with someone—whether through a Bible-based [English as a second language] class or driving them somewhere. The more time spent with someone, the more opportunities you have to love them like Jesus.”

Pray for the McDaniels as they work with refugees from all over the world. Pray for the church plant and the LSCW as they share about Jesus. Pray for the refugees to have open hearts to hear and then share with their families in their home countries.

Sue Sprenkle, a former International Mission Board missionary, is a professor of digital media in Kansas.

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