KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) – More than a year after American withdrawal created massive instability in Afghanistan, refugees from the war-torn nation still need practical help and a friendly face.
RefugeKC is a non-profit ministry seeking to equip churches in the Kansas City area to step into this ongoing need.
Founded in late 2015 by Richard Casebolt, a graduate of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, RefugeKC focuses on building relationships with refugees and meeting their practical needs.
Casebolt and his wife Vicki met while attending Midewestern. The two, along with their four children, served in missions in Thailand before returning to the States in 2011.
Casebolt began working for a non-profit coffee shop where he started a Bible study with refugees who had spent time in Thailand and could speak the language.
The more relationships he built, the clearer the need became.
“It just became increasingly obvious that there was a need for full-time work among the nations that God was bringing into Kansas City,” Casebolt said.
“That mission and vision ought to include making disciples among the nations according to the Great Commission. We want to help equip churches to do that and help raise awareness to the issue.”
After the fall of Afghanistan in 2021, refugee resettlement agencies around KC reached out to RefugeKC to assist with the influx of displaced Afghans coming to the area.
The organization helped coordinate thousands of volunteers, who served by picking up refugees from the airport, preparing meals, leading activities for children and transporting families to temporary housing.
Casebolt said the city’s Afghan population grew from around 300 to more than 1,200 in a matter of months.
Now more than a year later, Casebolt said ministry among refugees from a variety of nations continues. The organization is now more focused on developing deeper personal connections with their new neighbors.
The form this personal ministry takes is small support groups called Ambassador Teams.