Stemming from our belief that all people are made in God’s image and therefore have inherent value, dignity and worth, at Kaleo Missions it is our intention to care for the poor and marginalized in the urban centers of our nation, as well as to share the good news of the Gospel of Christ. We know that we can’t tackle every issue and injustice, but we focus our ministry efforts on helping address the following priorities:
Refugees and Immigrants
According to the UN Refugee Agency, More than 50 million people worldwide currently are refugees, asylum seekers or internally displaced within their own countries. It’s hard to imagine, but that figure is more than the entire population of Spain, South Africa or South Korea, or more than double the population of Australia. And even more disturbing, it is estimated that 41% of those are children.
Contrary to what is commonly believed, over half of those people live in urban centers as opposed to refugee camps. According to the UN Refugee agency, a refugee is someone who “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.” As Americans, who are blessed with the privileges and protections of our country, it is difficult for us to imagine the challenges and vulnerability that comes with living as a refugee. Since 1975, the United States has resettled over 3 million refugees, many into major urban centers. At Kaleo, we desire to come alongside of this group of people, show them the love of Christ and assist them as they make their transition to life in the United States.
Youth and Children
Unfortunately, life for many youth and children in urban areas of the United States, is full of challenges. The education systems are flawed, their neighborhoods are full of drugs and violence, and their parents often struggle to give them the love and discipline that they need. We know that we can’t solve all of those problems at once but, in partnership with families and year-round ministries, we demonstrate the love of Christ to these kids in tangible ways through activities such as tutoring, kids clubs and after school programs.
The disparity in education is truly one of the major injustices that people live with on a daily basis. And the lack of good education opportunities is particularly a major problem in low income urban areas of the United States. Just consider these statistics about urban education in our country: Fourth graders who grow up in low income communities are typically three levels behind their peers in high-income communities. Approximately 50% of low-income students will not graduate from high school by the time they are 18. Only 1 in 10 students from low socioeconomic communities will graduate from college. As a result, Kaleo works alongside many ministries and organizations that provide assistance in the form of after school programs in addition to partnering with schools in local communities.
The reasons for homelessness are quite diverse and often quite disputed. However, regardless of the specific reasons for homelessness, the fact still remains that every homeless statistic represents a person made in God’s image. Just to get an understanding of the scale of the problem, there are over 1.1 million homeless students enrolled in public schools each year in the United States. We are blessed to serve families and individuals in the homeless community and to partner with many other ministries and organizations that are making a tremendous difference in the lives of so many people experiencing homelessness in the United States.