We are reformers

The Lutheran tradition of refugee resettlement in the United States reaches back to 1939 in response to Europeans displaced during World War II.

This time period left on a mark on Vern and Rita Reamer, when their church and family members sponsored refugees from Hungary and Bulgaria. Decades later, the memory of those experiences drew them to Living Water Lutheran Church in Scottsdale, a congregation abundant with ministry in refugee resettlement.

In 2010, Vern and Rita began co-sponsoring newly arrived refugees families with LSS, primarily from Burma. They work with their church community to furnish apartments, help refugees find jobs, and connect with any specific resources their church can offer.

They had no idea how special their relationships with the refugees would become.

They recall the family that asked Vern and Rita to name their new baby. When the family was able to buy a car, they wanted red – the same color that Rita and Vern drive.  They remember the young man with such high work ethic, that he received a special promotion at his job, and how proud he was to be sent to Georgia for leadership training. They remember the teenagers, who would bring a list to Vern and Rita of words they had read in the dictionary but couldn’t pronounce. ­­­

But the refugees aren’t the only ones changed by the experience. Vern and Rita describe a better understanding of many different cultures. They have more appreciation for the simple things in their life. They pay closer attention to injustice in their community and know that they are working against it. 

Contact us if you are interested in co-sponsoring a refugee family. 

 Rita and Vern Reamer

Rita and Vern Reamer

 Two refugee boys the Reamers co-sponsored

Two refugee boys the Reamers co-sponsored