We welcomed our new Syrian family with a reception in the Gathering Space. Maher and Walaa are pictured above with their children Lith and Lilas age 3 and 1.
By all reports, the arrival (except for the plane being an hour late) went very well and the family is happy and grateful for their lovely new home, as well as the warm reception from the airport greeters. Unfortunately, they do not speak English (yet) and our Arabic is wanting, as well. But we'll figure that part out in due course.
We will look to Joyce, Jolaine (hospitality volunteers) and Aram to give us indication of additional things we may do by way of welcoming these new folks. Aram says there is nothing we need do right now, but he will let us know how we can help in coming days.
Hopefully there will be an opportunity when we can get our whole volunteer team together to meet and greet after they've had time to get oriented to their new world and time zone.
In the meantime, we will have a continuing need to collect gently used furniture items to make them available to Samaritas for additional families who will be on their way shortly. Also, cash is really really good to have on hand, as we needed to fill some gaps yesterday to fully equip the apartment. Remember we do have a fund set up at PoP and contributions made to PoP designated "refugee" will be welcome on an on-going basis.
Funds like this may sometimes be referred to as a "war chest", but I prefer to think of this as a "peace chest" - and God knows everything we can do to bring peace and healing through kindness and care is a loud statement to our friends and community - as well as giving a life-saving opportunity to at least a few people from the depths of suffering.
Thanks to all.
“CARING AND SHARING” – Refugee Family Support
On Friday, June 10, we learned that a Syrian refugee family would be arriving on June 29 and our Christian support was required. At a meeting on Monday, June 13, about 25 people met to talk with Aram Derbandi of Samaritas and Afifa Thaj of the Islamic Center to make plans for their arrival. The Almaasarini family (a father, mother, a 3 year old little girl and a 1 year old little boy) has been living in Jordan and going through a 3-4 year screening process before being allowed to enter the United States.
We are in need of furniture (see attached list) and financial support to purchase linens, towels, dishes, etc. We were told by Aram and Afifa that it would be best to purchase most items new rather than take contributions. That is spelled out on the aforementioned list.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
For the next two weeks we will have “Caring & Sharing” envelopes in the bulletins and on the usher stands. There will also be an insert in the bulletin with a list of the needed items that can be donated.
Donated Items: You may call or email Claudia (352-1576 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or call the church office (343-3453) to indicate you have an item(s) to donate. We can make arrangements to pick items up, if necessary.
Cash Donations: These donations would be most helpful as we have so much to purchase in a short period of time. Please make your checks payable to Prince of Peace and put refugee family on the memo line. You may drop your check in the offering plate or take it to the church office. We will be setting up the apartment the week before they arrive, so time is of the essence.
Eat Pizza on Tuesday, June 21: The Pizza Hut on Westnedge near the Southland Mall will donate 20% of each sale for people who have the insert from our bulletin. We will have extras at the church if you’re not here on Sunday. Tuesday is Pizza Night!
We have determined groups that are being headed by various individuals. Those include:
PoP Lead Representatives: Rev. Dale and Yvonne Gatz
Furniture and Housing Supplies: Claudia Lee and Jennifer & Yvonne Gatz
Food: The Islamic Center
Adult Clothing: Joyce Stout and Jolaine Snyder (they will take them shopping for
Children’s Needs: Lucas Pederson & Friends
Cleaning Supplies: Social Concerns
Financial Donations: Lori Hannemann and Gail MacNellis
Job Development: All
Transportation: Chuck Ford
Hospitality: Jolaine Snyder and Joyce Stout
Communication: Gail MacNellis
Airport Welcome: Jean & Dennis Darling and members of the Islamic Center