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February 6, 2017  

As a parish we decided almost a year ago to cosponsor with Bethany Christian Services a refugee family. Before Halloween we were assigned a family, the Garang family, from South Sudan who have been living in the Kakuma Camp in Kenya for 25 years. They had exit visa problems which is common leaving Kenya and then one had some health problems and now with current policy it seems that the vetting process of 2 years has to start all over.

The Rodriguez-Matos family got into the U.S. just in time to qualify under the Cuban Haitian Entry Program. With that and their interest in being part of a Catholic community we are blessed to be able to cosponsor them. Tuesday, Feb. 7, they will move into their new home which Grace Episcopal Church owns; their church community is too small to cosponsor a family on their own and so they are thrilled to be able to assist us in this ministry through providing housing and being good neighbors. Our refugee support team is also thrilled to be able to finally enter into this relationship with one of the many refugee families throughout the world who needs our support and prayers. Thank you to all of you who've helped make this ministry a reality in our parish community.

If you are interested in being part of our support team, contact Sr. Noella.            npoinsette@stfrancisholland.org            616-392-6700 

July 14, 2016

As a parish we are cosponsoring a refugee family with Bethany Christian Services; this is a 6 month commitment after which they will be working and self sufficient. They arrive here with little more than the clothes on their backs. They’ve fled their home countries in fear of imminent death; after years in a camp they undergo a thorough 2 year process of being vetted by our government. These families come here in friendship hoping to be welcomed as sisters and brothers. You can help in three ways:

  • Please pray for this effort. Consider this prayer as part of your daily intercessions to Our Lord:  Lord God, no one is a stranger to you. No one is ever far from your loving care. In your kindness, watch over refugees, victims of war, those separated from their loved ones, and those who have left home or who have run away from home. Help them find a place of safety, community, and flourishing. Strengthen us and all people of goodwill to be your hands for this. Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
  •  
  • Our housing team is still looking for housing.  There's been a glitch with moving ahead in partnership with Grace Episcopal Church; this might still work out but maybe God is wanting us to find a longer term solution for family housing. Grace would be wonderful partners in this ministry but things are up in the air at this moment. Through the generosity of many parishioners we have practically everything we need of household items. When we know the makeup of our family we might need to ask for more donations (e.g. if there's a baby or small children in the family)
  • To donate then go directly to the following website to sign-up to provide items: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090c4fafae29a1f85-household​

Have questions? Feel free to contact Sr. Noella Poinsette (npoinsette@stfrancisholland.org), Jerilynn Tucker (jerilynntucker.jt@gmail.com), or Richard Ray (ray@hope.edu).

 

Another Prayer for Refugees

Sheltering God,

You were born in flight,
Your parents anxious and given no rest.
The manner of Your birth calls me to
Open-heartedness and sensitivity to the strangers in our midst.
Help me not to flee Your challenge.
The violence of the present time teaches me fear of the stranger,
Reluctant to reach out to those who are different.
Grace me this day as I seek
To see You in the faces of those uprooted,
Weary, as they seek refuge and peace.

Amen.

By: Center of Concern's Education for Justice