Gypsy's Travels

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Our New Refugees

Round Rock Christian Church (DOC) joined forces with St. John’s Methodist Church in Georgetown, Texas, to sponsor another refugee family - a mother (age 46), her son and daughter (ages 9 & 14), and another, unrelated, young woman who will be arriving later and living with them.

There is scant information on the family. We understand the mother and children are from the Karen Tribe in Burma (now known as Myanmar), and lived in a refugee camp in Thailand for about 10 years. They arrived in Austin on 27 February, just before midnight, an hour later than expected, after somehow missing their connection in Denver. Luggage, between the three of them, consisted of 2 coarsely woven, shopping-style bags about the size of large rolling suitcases. The tops were taped closed. These were all their worldly possessions. They speak no English.

Working together, members from both churches readied the family’s apartment. The generosity of church members, combined with donations from Refugee Services, provided comfortable, well-appointed living quarters for the four refugees to settle in and begin the task of making America their home.

As we introduced the mother to her new home, we had a glimpse into the life they must have left behind. Her excitement at the simplest things was unrestrained. We showed her how to pull the chains to make the ceiling lights and fan work, and then showed her the wall switch. There was a look of awe on her face as she timidly touched the light switch, gently pushed it down, then turned her head to look in wonder at the lights that responded to her touch. Our minister provided a microwave oven demonstration; they explored cupboards, pantries,and cabinets, but there is more for them to discover as they settle in. After 10 years, most likely in a tent with dirt floors, the family is home and ready to begin a new life.

Daughter, mother, and interpreter with Minister.
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  1. Hi, Gypsy. Your story about this family really touched my heart. Helping others sure gives us a new perspective on our own lives.

    I need to write sometime about a Russian refugee family we took in for a while. What an unforgetable experience!

  2. Welcome. Cheryl! Glad to see you surface for air. Hope you will soon be back to blogging.

  3. I remember when your DH would worry when you were out of country doing goods, he won't worry about this.

  4. Beautiful work to do. We each need a cause--a purpose--to focus on. I like yours.

  5. ABW told me about visiting the family last night on the phone- she focussed on the vacuum cleaner demonstration. There really is a lot we take for granted about the standard of living in our country.


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