From Adam and Eve in Genesis to John’s exile to Patmos, where tradition says he wrote Revelation, the Bible is filled with stories of people forced to leave their homes. Some were forcibly displaced as a result of their own actions, and others were driven from their homeland due to natural disasters, famine, war, or persecution. Through the stories, we learn that God cares for refugees. 
Today, God’s mission of protecting and advocating for the welfare of displaced people is happening worldwide, including in Egypt, where Jesus began his life as a refugee when he and his family had to flee political persecution. In the capital of Egypt, St. Andrew’s United Church is a place where people living in Cairo and from around the world can worship in an English-speaking congregation. For the past 26 years, it has been “home” to five refugee-led congregations representing five ecumenical denominations. St. Andrew’s is also home to StARs (St. Andrew’s Refugee Services). StARS is a vibrant, thriving mission – a place for refugees where they can find supportive services provided by refugees. The ministry has grown and changed through its 40 years, now providing an expansive program out of 6 locations in Cairo of medical, psychosocial, protection, legal aid, community, and education services. 

Here are a few things to know about StARS:
• 85% of the staff have the lived experience of forced displacement
• The top nationalities served in the last year were: Sudan, Eritrea, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Syria, and Somalia.

• 37,786 displaced people were served by one of StARS departments in 2021. Cairo is often the first place people receive assistance and hope to eventually move on to a better life elsewhere.
• The greatest increase in refugees last year was in 7,607 children showing up at their doors unaccompanied by a  parent or adult.

• Many children and women are victims of gender-based violence during their journey to and in Cairo.

• StARS is a comprehensive and successful ministry with and for some of the most vulnerable people in the world.  

• Our donations to Lutheran World Relief, Lutheran Disaster Response, and ELCA Global Missions help support this vital mission.  

Christie Manisto Guest Preaching
July 16 & 17, 2022 | Trinity Lutheran Church
Christie Manisto is an ELCA global missionary serving in Cairo as pastor of the English-speaking congregation at St. Andrews United Church and as StARS chaplain for staff and clients. She will be the guest preacher for all worship services on July 16 & 17. Plan to worship with us and learn more about this important ministry.