After a 20 year war, the United States is now out of Afghanistan. As a revitalized Taliban took control of the country, thousands of people who aided the US military or took a stand against the Taliban have fled.
But they’re not the only ones looking for help. There are 26 million refugees in the world, half of whom are children. About 11,000 men, women and children came legally to America last year to build a new life.
“They take all of the family’s major. They kill them right away, ”said Mohmmad Amin Sahel, an Afghan refugee.
Mohammad Amin Sahel worked alongside US Marines for five years as an interpreter in Afghanistan. When he had the opportunity to escape it, he did.
“The only thing I could take was my family,” he said.
It is the kindness of strangers that are helping them now. The family has entered International Oasis in the morning and afternoon a truck full of furniture arrived.
Joanie and Mark Akers began their refugee ministry 15 years ago, after traveling abroad as missionaries.
“I was visiting an Ethiopian family here in Saint-Louis. I walked through the door and there was only bare hardwood flooring, ”says Mark Akers of the inspiration behind starting the organization.
“Our eyes were just open to what was going on in our own city,” said Joanie Akers.
Mark says, “I’ve told all my friends about it; you have to give me your stuff.
To date, thousands of refugees from 50 countries have passed through the gates of Oasis.
“Everything is different from our countries,” said Hady Matta, an Egyptian refugee and Arab coordinator.
“They are like my family,” said Susan Jaff, a refugee from Kurdistan.
Mark says, “Our goal was to help every refugee who came to St. Louis with an entire house full of furniture, their clothes, English classes, citizenship classes, baby showers.
Joanie and Mark’s mission now is to help these refugees rebuild their lives.
“I remember a mother saying, you know, I just want, I don’t want my kids growing up with a war going on all the time,” says Joanie.
Mohammad said, “I can see a bright future from them. And I’m so happy for it.
In 2019, more than 75% of all refugees came from just five countries: Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar. Oasis serves 6,000 refugees each year. It takes $ 40,000 a month to continue serving refugees, 70% of which comes from individual donations.