The Kansas City Central Church hosted their first ever Refugee Awareness Benefit Concert on Saturday, June 23. The event was held in connection with World Refugee Day on June 20.
The concert was spearheaded by Jenica Joseph, with help from Laura Radabaugh, Joy Stocker, Marise Gerhardt, Anna Coridan, and numerous others presenting or working behind the scenes to make it happen. Several ethnic groups sang songs from their cultures, and the music was interspersed with personal testimonies, stories, video clips, and devotional thoughts.
Approximately 75 people attended the event, raising $680 that evening for Refugee Ministries projects around the Iowa-Missouri Conference, with more donations still coming in. Projects these funds will support include tuition assistance for refugee students, language and citizen classes and more.
Following the program, attendees were invited to stay for a meal. There were looks of shock as each was served a meager helping of beans and rice—a standard meal portion found in refugee camps and various other areas of the world. After the initial surprise, a more bountiful meal was served.
Many attending expressed appreciation for the program, saying it was both touching and informative. A good time was had by all.