Oklahoma Conference of the United Methodist Church

Church furnishes home for refugee family of three


Members of OKC-Wesley welcome a family of refugees from Honduras on Aug. 1. The church provided food and furnishings for the family’s new apartment, which was provided through Catholic Charities.
By Meagan Ewton

The email came on a Friday. Catholic Charities was helping a refugee family from Honduras complete the immigration process, and they would arrive in 10 days. The mother and children needed food and furnishings for a new home. Catholic Charities had already provided the home; would the church be willing to provide the rest?

Volunteers from OKC-Wesley worked together on a Saturday afternoon to get the apartment ready for the new family to arrive. The home was fully furnished by the end of the night.

That Sunday, Jeremy Basset relayed the request to his congregation at OKC-Wesley. He knew the church was a diverse group who valued immigrants; 12 nationalities were represented among their weekly worshippers. But furnishing an entire apartment in a week was a sizable project for a church that worshipped 113 on average. So, Basset asked: are we willing and able to help this family?

The church responded: Yes.

The next several days were a whirlwind of managing donated items and funds. A member of the church volunteered to be the point person for the project. Furnishings and décor were donated not only by the church’s members, but also by extended families and others in the community.

A list of needed items such as bedding, soap, trash cans and towels was emailed to church members that Wednesday with a request to drop off the items at the apartment on Saturday. Volunteers were requested to move items and help set up the home on Saturday afternoon.

In addition to furnishings, the church also provided a utensils, dishes, appliances and food.

The apartment was completely furnished by Saturday night. Beds, couches, tables and counters were decorated with care, and even the shower was stocked with toothbrushes, soaps, towels and other necessities.

Groceries were purchased the night before the family’s arrival. A Latin American family from the church offered to cook a homemade meal for the family’s first night in Oklahoma, hoping familiar food and conversing in Spanish would help the Honduran family feel more at home.

Basset couldn’t be prouder of his church. After recounting the story, he drummed his finger on the table as he shared a heartfelt statement:

“That’s how a community welcomes immigrants.”


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