Our refugee resettlement ministry with the Kondas concluded after one year of work with a celebration in January of 2016. The parish is currently taking a break from refugee resettlement ministry work but remains passionate about this issue. You can read more about what was involved in this ministry below.
The Kondas are a family of four refugees from Sudan. An Arabic-speaking Sudanese family, they come from Muslim roots, though the father, Abdelhamid, is a convert to Christianity. Our parish is their co-sponsor with Bethany Christian Services and was thrilled to meet them at the airport when they arrived. After a journey through the snowy West Michigan roads (no one in the family had ever seen snow before!), they settled them in a new duplex that had been furnished and filled with groceries, almost entirely gifts of parishioners. Our parish now walks alongside the Kondas during their first year here, supporting them in teams focusing on: finances, social activities, medical needs, transportation, education/ESL, and continuing housing needs.
SJE Parishioner Alicia Hager wrote an essay in advance of their arrival about the holy work of preparation, entitled, “Advent: The Arrival of a Notable Person, Thing or Event.” You can read that essay online here.
Here are the details on the work of the various support teams…
- Financial Support — people who will help them figure out things like getting a checking account, how to shop for groceries and clothes on a budget, etc.
- Medical Support — people who will help them get medical care, particularly helping them by connecting them with health professionals in the area.
- Transportation Support — people who will give them rides to places they need to be, particularly when Harbor Transit is not a viable form of transportation. This group also takes them shopping for groceries on a weekly basis.
- Housing Support —People who keep track of any remaining needs for their home, helping them become self-sufficient in this area.
- Additionally, all members of the various support teams were on one mass e-mail group so that if an issue comes up that one team cannot solve on their own, they can reach out to the others. This group also contains members who are not on a specific support team but who want to be contacted if any significant or abnormal need arises.