* Kids Outreach at Eagle Rock Apartment Complex–
“Linda, Allison and Kathryn with family and friends went to Eagle Rock apartments to do a kids outreach and found another church was there already but this made it more fun. The music was loud and the kids were all smiles-about 30 of them. They loved the music and the dances, songs, Bible story, and snacks. An interpreter was present. Linda brought some crafts to do. Our team join in with the children, helping and encouraging them to participate. Everyone is ready to do this again.”
* A Home Visit to a Grieving Refugee Family–
“Sara and myself found that we could communicate during our visit sometimes not exactly sure but could know what they were telling us. The father in our family was in deep grief. (His wife died unexpectedly 2 weeks ago) He had a good support system. A friend (possibly a relative) from Chicago was visiting him. Later another man came to visit. His children seemed well cared for-he has three of them under the age of 10. We took fruit snacks for the kids and some books. We did pray for them. We felt that it was good that we visited. It worked out well for Sara and myself to do this visit together. We were there about 45 minutes…”
* Apartment Set Up for Burmese family–
“…to love your neighbor..”
“We opened our hearts, our minds and our eyes as we joined together to set up an apartment for an arriving refugee family by partnering with World Relief during Mandarin United Methodist Church’s Change The World Weekend. We learned and we understood the need and together we saw that the needs for this new family to have a home and everything that they will need for their first two days of living in America was met.
Over 30 members of our congregation provided furniture, household items and dollars, and then arrived in work cloths to clean, move in furniture, assemble a purchased table and chairs, check out needed apartment repairs, place items in closets and left the residence in move in readiness for “our” Burma family of four, Mom, Dad, and 2 little girls, ages 18 months and 4 years. Childcare needs, paper products, cleaning supplies, no detail was left untouched. This readiness also included purchasing a large rice cooker and groceries according to a recommended list from World Relief who had defined their cultural habits regarding food.
One of our team will greet them at the airport when they arrive and assist with the family’s transportation to their new home (even doing this at the midnight hour!) Another one of our generous, Christian women, has prepared some ready cash to tide them over until other help and services are available to them.
Through our work we experienced what it must be like to be a refugee. To have experienced ethnic, political, or religious persecution, to live a life at risk, to arrive in a new country where almost everything is an unknown, what must it be like? We finished our Change The World Weekend with a satisfied heart, feeling that somehow our preparations for a comfortable home with a welcome bed and good food would ease any anxiety and stress, and show that we as God’s people want to share God’s love.
Members of our congregation working in the apartment:
Cliff Calvert Meta Stanley Dan Stanley Paula Hill
Judy McClelland Judy McClelland Kitty McCaffrey Steve Morcom
Glenda Spickelmier Nancy Rushton
Carol Bogard Pat Ester Adrienne Gerdes Lora Gambill
Jimmy Harrison Paula Hill Donna London Pat Lowe
Bill Lowe Carlen Lowrie Kitty McCaffrey Judy McClelland
Jim McClelland Missy Miles Steve Morcom Monteen Pillay
Nicole Wade-Free Sale Carol Walker Mary Warner Shelia Strouse
Audrey Drawdy Nancy Rushton Marilyn Williams Stephanie Maxey
Sandy Matthews Jim Matthews MUMW Circles- Charity and Share
And, “yes” it doesn’t stop here. Kitty has arranged to help the family learn English and we all for a long time we will all be interested in this family and will be keeping touch.”
* Resume Assistance–
“Things went really well on Saturday. Ganga and Dhira are my age, so we actually had a lot more in common that I could have imagined. We tried to work on the resumes for a while, but it turns out that the positions they are looking for don’t really require resumes-(grocery, clerk/seamstress/babysitter) So I took them to the library, got them library cards, set up an email account for them and showed them how to use it and we looked at a couple of job search terms and search under. They also checked out their first library books! I felt like I made two new friends this weekend and I’m going to contact World Relief this week and ask if I can “sponsor” Dhira and Ganga and continue to help them by taking them to fill out applications, interviews, to the library, etc. We had such a good time together Saturday – I look forward to seeing them again soon.”
* Home Visit to Bhutanese Refugees–
“The location was on Old Kings Rd. S. We had a nice visit with the two young men. Their English was limited so we did our best with lot’s of smiles and nods. They have a friend in the complex who provides rides for them and they were familiar with 911 and how to use their food stamps. They were most attentive when we showed them how the oven and garbage disposal worked. We took a tour of the area with a stop at a thrift store and Walmart. They proudly proclaimed their Christianity and said they were going to church nearby. We shared prayer and fellowship and said our goodbyes after about 2 hours.”
Thank you Mandarin United Methodist Church for changing our world with the LOVE of Jesus!!!