Five local churches to sponsor four relocated Afghan families in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Ind. — Five Columbus houses of worship have announced plans to sponsor and support four relocated Afghan families as residents of Columbus at least for their first year here.

That support for the time being will include basic expenses such as housing and utilities, groceries, schooling and also help with employment, according to plans made by a group calling itself Faith Partners In Compassion.

Those religious bodies that are a part of that group are: First Presbyterian Church; First Baptist Church; the Islamic Society of Columbus Indiana; St. Bartholomew Catholic Church; and First Christian Church.

They are working alongside agencies Exodus Refugee Immigration Inc. in Indianapolis and the Indianapolis office of Catholic Charities on the plan for the Afghans to resettle here. Both agencies have worked extensively with families resettling.

These families coming to Columbus are among the thousands of Afghans fully vetted by the American government and currently hosted in military facilities across the United States. They are not necessarily part of the the more than 7,000 Aghans being assisted at Camp Atterbury in Edinburgh, according to local religious leaders.

For example, the first family to relocate, to be helped by First Presbyterian’s congregation, is coming from Wisconsin and is expected to arrive within days.

“The local partner congregations are motivated by a sense of call from God to help, knowing these Afghan individuals took great risks to support American troops serving in their country,” said the Rev. Felipe Martinez, pastor at First Presbyterian Church.

For the complete story, see Thursday’s Republic.