Latter-day Saint Life

How Mormons Have Surprised Lutherans Running a Refugee Resettlement Agency


"Seeing how the LDS [humanitarian] model is designed and delivers consistently is exciting," said Staci Coomer of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services. "They do it thoughtfully and well, and it's amazing to see in action. We know the LDS will be a great partner."

A flash flood of Mormon volunteers was a spring surprise for Lutherans who run refugee resettlement organizations in 25 U.S. states.

Motivated by statements of church leaders encouraging them to help refugees, the influx of Mormons prompted resettlement centers of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services to add volunteer training sessions in places like South Carolina, Colorado, and Arizona.

On Tuesday, the budding relationship expanded again, as LIRS leaders visited Salt Lake City and received a check for $130,000 from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The LDS Church also pledged an additional $520,000 in commodities such as food and mattresses.

Lead image from Deseret News of Bahati Kitungana sorting clothes at the LDS Humanitarian Center in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. Refugees work in both locations as associates and study English.
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