Our goal of seeing real transformation through equipping, empowering, and encouraging Afghans is the same in New York City as in Afghanistan.
Queens, NYC has a population of 2.3 million people of which 50% are foreign born (taken from the 2010 census). Approximately 20% are from predominantly Muslim countries. In today’s political climate we feel urged to reach out in love to Afghans seeking to belong by coming alongside them in their new home country. Americans intentionally engaging with Afghan and other ethnic communities to develop relationships can work to bridge gaps and mutual misunderstanding, reducing fear and increasing hope.
Sozo’s extensive experience with and heart for Afghans facilitated opening an outreach center in Queens in the Spring of 2018. We believe our presence here will be a benefit for those we engage in programs such as English classes, student tutoring services, assistance with resources and services in times of need, and through small group activities and studies. Our presence will also benefit Sozo’s primary goal of ensuring the continued growth and success of our work in Afghanistan. As we serve in Queens, we see a great benefit in piloting new approaches for sharing life and hope that could then be implemented into our work in Afghanistan, as well.
Through Our NYC Outreach Center, More People Can Connect and Share Sozo’s Work
Support and involvement are essential to our long-term success—there is strength in numbers. We have a heart for Afghanistan and see how lives there continue to be transformed through our organization. It is a difficult place where we are called to serve, and there are inherent challenges for many of our supporters to connect on a personal level. Being able to work with Afghans domestically will provide opportunities that do not currently exist:
1. Short-Term Teams: Short-term teams can visit and connect with Afghans in a more familiar environment here at home. Groups of high school and college students, families with younger children, seniors—basically those who can’t or wouldn’t otherwise travel to Afghanistan—will be able to personally engage. We see short-term teams in Queens facilitating sports clinics for kids, participating in helping with small home and car repairs, and so much more! Plan to be part of one of these trips by contacting us
2. Staff Training: Serving Afghans in NYC will be an important way potential long-term team members can be immersed in the culture as part of their training, while the experience will also provide a platform for their own discernment. All future long-term team candidates will spend time with Sozo in NYC as part of their preparation and training process prior to going to Afghanistan. If you or someone you know might be interested in serving with us, please contact us
WE ASK FOR YOUR SUPPORT:
Pray for us as we learn, grow, face challenges, and seek to develop trust with the Afghan community in NYC. In the predominantly Muslim community, please also pray for open doors with any of our neighbors.
Pray about ways you, your family, small group, church, etc., might plug into the work in the expansion. Please let us know if you’d like to be added to an update list.
Pray for strong connections to be made between Sozo’s work in NYC and Afghanistan.