The Great Plains Conference has been heavily involved in refugee resettlement since late 2015, when then-Bishop Scott Jones took a stand against the governors of both Kansas and Nebraska who wanted to close the doors of their states to any newcomers from outside the United States. The conference has conducted training for churches, hosted community education sessions across the two states and has worked with Lutheran Family Services to provide support for that organization’s efforts on this subject.
Changes in federal laws meant that fewer immigrants were coming to Nebraska, in particular, so Lutheran Family Services was forced to lay off some of its employees due to a lack of funding. In the early spring of 2017, our communications team learned of an older couple who attend a United Methodist Church in the Omaha area. The couple took in a teenager from a war-torn country when her mother died from an illness.
Because of their experience with this young woman, the couple made a substantial financial donation to Lutheran Family Services to help them provide case management for immigrants for an additional year or more. The video tells the story of the young woman and how that relationship prompted the couple to action.