St. Columba's Episcopal Church

An Update from the Refugee Response ministry

Date: March 3, 2017

Fri., Mar. 3
Our Family Makes Their Home in America

Since their February 22nd arrival, our refugee family has been busy completing their US paperwork, signing the lease on their apartment and getting ready to move in this Saturday. Refugee Response ministry volunteers have taken the family to various agencies, getting their papers in order to meet school requirements, have their English assessed to determine what grade the children will be in and how much English instruction they will need. With welcome committee volunteers, the family toured the Mall and the National Museum of Natural History. This Sunday, the boys will play in an informal soccer game with our youth group.

Joanne Lin is coordinating drives to help clothe the family, collecting new and gently used items through Fri., Mar. 10. Parishioners interested in donating should refer to the following links that list specific needs for the father (click here to donate)
and for the rest of the family (click here to donate).

Wed., Feb. 22
A Safe Arrival: Praise the Lord!
This morning, Refugee Response ministry representatives Jim Losey, Jean Ann Wright and Leroy Walters welcomed our new family of five from Afghanistan–a mother, father and three boys, ages 7, 13 and 14. All were in good spirits despite a 15-hour flight from Kabul, connecting through Dubai, and 2 hours spent clearing immigration.

With only two weeks notice since the events of the first family (see "Waiting for a refugee family, in the wake of Trump’s ban"), the Refugee Response team quickly shifted gears to find a larger apartment in Silver Spring, in a good school district to accommodate the family's elementary, middle and high schoolers. The team then flexed its ministry muscle and arranged for temporary quarters over the next few weeks until the family’s apartment in Silver Spring is ready for move-in.

We are grateful for the family’s safe arrival and all the thoughtful preparation by the Refugee Response ministry members to anticipate their needs. Please keep our new family in your prayers as they acclimate to their new home.

Contacts: Jim Losey and Deacon Jean Ann Wright

Tues., Feb. 2
An Unexpected Turn of Events
After the refugee family we had initially agreed to sponsor decided to move in with members of their own family in Virginia, prompting a change in sponsorship plans, Lutheran Social Services asked us to partner with another family. It is a family of five from Afghanistan–a mother, father and three boys, ages 7, 13 and 14.

The Refugee Response committee has happily accepted and looks forward to welcoming this new family in late February. We ask for your prayers for their safe arrival. We are all are looking forward to helping this family settle in America."

Wed., Feb. 1, 2017
"We are filled with gratitude and relief that the Afghan family has safely entered the US. They successfully cleared immigration late in the evening yesterday. Unexpectedly, they were greeted by a brother of the wife who has been in the country one month, and they decided to go home with him last night, instead of to the temporary housing arranged by our Refugee Response ministry.

It is fortunate that this family has some options to consider, and they will meet with Lutheran Social Services in the next few days to make a final decision regarding where they will live. While our Refugee Response ministry representatives were surprised by this unexpected turn of events, we are all hopeful that we will find the very best way to serve this young family or, depending on the outcome, another refugee family.

We are grateful to the Refugee Response ministry members for all their efforts and to all the St. Columbans who contributed generously to this ministry. We remain committed to continuing to work for fair and equitable treatment of refugees around the world."

Read on ... for the thoughtful article published by The Washington Post entitled, "Waiting for a refugee family, in the wake of Trump’s ban"

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