Reaching the World Next Door

Ministering to Refugees Within Texas
February 28, 2019

HOUSTON – Thousands of refugees have moved to Houston, Tex., from countries like Afghanistan, Bhutan and Somalia. Because of religious persecution in their countries, this is the first time these individuals have had an opportunity to know Jesus.

In response to this need, a new training center called Reach the World Next Door (RWND) was set up in Houston to prepare young adults for cross-cultural missions. In a unique partnership, the center is operated by a supporting ministry called ASAP Ministries in partnership with the Texas Conference.

Tara Vang, Generation Youth for Christ (GYC) evangelism coordinator, saw an amazing opportunity when the GYC 2018 conference was scheduled for Houston. She contacted RWND and asked them to partner with GYC. Together, they created new outreach maps that would take more than 2,000 GYC volunteers into the community in a way that would directly bless the refugees.

On Dec. 27, 2018, several thousand totes were distributed in neighborhoods asking people to donate cleaning supplies and other items for the refugees. The following Sunday, volunteers carried in so many donations it created a huge pile.

As GYC came to a close on New Year’s Eve, hundreds of young people made a commitment to serve God in missions. They did not have to go far. For the first time ever, GYC had a post-conference event. More than 50 individuals stayed to participate.

The attendees slept on the floor of the Houston Central Seventh-day Adventist Church. Each morning and evening the RWND team provided cross-cultural missions training. Vang and her leadership team led the group going door-to-door. Many were visited and each expressed their appreciation. One lady said, “I am so happy to see you. I didn’t think you would come back!”

On the final day of the post-GYC conference, the group presented special programs among Afghani, Cambodians, Chinese and Pakistanis.

Church members in Houston will partner with RWND to follow up on interests from the communities.

If you would like to learn how to reach refugees, immigrants and international students where you are or you are interested in joining the RWND program, contact Scott Griswold, RWND director, at (707) 380-9554 or learn more at