Being a resource to the international refugee community by offering tangible assistance and meaningful relationships.
Who Are We?
"We are committed to mobilizing the Church on behalf of international refugees who have become our neighbors in Oklahoma City. It is our firm belief that if the refugee community has individuals living within it who offer friendship, commitment, and true community - our new neighbors will thrive in America. We are committed to humbling ourselves in service and friendship, knowing we have much to gain and much to learn."
-Brad and Kim Bandy, Founders of The Spero Project
The Common is a program of The Spero Project, a local 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to mobilize the Church by offering entry points to partnering with under resourced communities.
Who Are Our Neighbors?
"A refugee is a person who, owning to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for Reason of race, religion, nationality, membership of particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owning to such fear, unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country."
-1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
Refugees come from all over the world. They represent families and individuals who have been forced to leave their homes because their lives and well-being have been threatened. Men and women, young and old, they travel long and dangerous paths to resettle themselves and their loved ones in a safer environment. We believe it is important to recognize and respect what our friends in the refugee community have experienced and to honor and serve them as Christ would have us.
How 'The Common' works:
By Cultivating Meaningful Relationships
- Pastoral Care
- Youth Mentoring
- Hosting community gatherings, celebrations
- Being neighbors and friends
- Cultivating networks of caring:
- Health care professionals
- Learning from classes/initiatives/mentoring led by our new neighbors.
And Providing Tangible Assistance
- Support and assistance in areas of:
- Job search, etc...
- Housing procurement
- Educational transitions, enrollment
- Medical needs & navigating systems
- Navigating social service systems
- English Language Learning Classes & Tutoring
- Critical care in emergency situations
- On-site resources housed at a primary housing unit for the community:
- Homework help
- Citizenship Test preparation
- Education, life skills classes
We believe it is important to meet both the tangible and intangible needs of those in the refugee community. One thing we have learned from working with our friends in this community is that ministry is nuanced. It does not often lend itself to short-term volunteer opportunities. The community has unique and variable needs. The partnerships we have established for meeting tangible needs are with those who are able to fulfill a long-term, time-intensive commitment.
We partner with individuals and organizations all over the city to meet tangible needs. Staff members, interns, and established relationships with churches and other organizations all work together to provide goods and services to individuals and families in the refugee community.
Who would you call if you needed a...doctor?...tutor?...directions or a ride?
When we don't know how to get from point A to point B, we use use our networks to find someone who does. Those who are part of Oklahoma City's refugee community often don't have these connections.
But you can help.
“The Spero Project helps refugees who are in need of support. From finding a ride to get to your appointment to just being there for you during your hardships. Having an organization like The Spero Project is a miracle for my family and my community. I am very thankful to the members of this organization for the gift of love and support.”
-Quote from our neighbor from Burma-