Giving Refugees a Home in Plymouth

Giving Refugees a Home in Plymouth

betsy sole photo in home

Growing up, Betsy Sole saw her family’s church sponsor a Hungarian refugee – a relationship that developed into a lifelong friendship between the refugee family and her own. That memory would provide inspiration to help Afghan refugees arriving in Michigan in 2022 due to the collapse of the Afghan government – and in the midst of a United States housing crisis.

Betsy’s church, St. John’s Episcopal Church in Plymouth owned a colonial home used for storage, but with the capacity to fit a family of eight with renovations. Betsy brought the idea to the priest and vestry to use the home for refugee families. Families could live in the home until self-sufficient, and then the church would welcome another refugee family in need.

St. John’s felt God’s calling and purpose for this house, but realized that such a project would require a community effort beyond the resources of their church alone.

Facing a cost of $120,000 in remodeling plus the need for decorations and furnishings, St. John’s proceeded with their plan and applied for grants and connected with other churches for donated funding. The church – and secular – community came together in a big way to raise the necessary funds and furnishings. Partners included St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brighton, Living Peace Church in Plymouth, Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Novi, the Plymouth Rotary, and even corporations such as Masco. Additionally, the project gave many individuals within and without the congregation an opportunity to use and donate their own unique time and talents from interior design to roofing. This was truly a beautiful picture of community in action together!

The home is now complete and St. John’s has just been matched with their first refugee family, fulfilling the vision God had shared with them over a year ago.

Betsy shared the heart for their ministry, stating, “We wanted to find ways for anyone to have an encounter with a living God…by being Christ’s church involved in the community. We hope and pray that God can use our gifts and service to others so they might experience the presence of Christ in their own lives.”

You can hear Betsy Sole share St. John’s story here.

Theme picker