Karen Refugee Ministry Update
Karen Sermon Time
Beginning Sunday September 4th, Christ Covenant began offering a sermon time especially for our Karen community during our worship service. Several men from the church body are rotating through, teaching basics of the faith, with a translator. What exciting times for our Karen to be hearing a message in their own language on Sundays. Please pray for our speakers AND for those who listen.
Beginning end of August, Christ Covenant Refugee Ministry began to offer tutoring for our Karen children Wednesdays from 5:45 to 6:45pm. Tutors and Drivers are still needed. Please pray for Michele Suffridge as she coordinates this activity. Pray that Christ be glorified even through this time, that the children’s education would improve as a result but especially that they see Christ in those working with them.
On Our Radar
This summer, members of Htaw Pai’s family began coming to our church. We have found that although this family arrived in the States January 2010, they have really struggled without a sponsor. In May Htaw Pai lost his job. In June his wife, Ma Tai Win had a baby (their 5th at home) three months prematurely. This past week Jason Stoddard was able to help Htaw Pai get a job at a nearby restaurant ( Simply Crepes) to which he can walk. Yay!
Karen Sunday School
Several of our Karen teen girls have ‘graduated’ from our Karen Sunday School and begun attending ‘American’ youth Sunday School. Please pray for this transition as they get to know ‘our’ teens, deepen friendships and learn Bible truths on a new level. And, our Karen Sunday School attendance remains large which is VERY exciting. Please pray for our teachers (Inge and Debbie Halvorsen, Barb Smith, Rusty Hood, Diane Sambrick and Rick Suffridge) that the Holy Spirit would work through us as we share the Good News through ESL every Sunday. Visitors Welcome!
Miria Htoo and her husband, Thammi recently (September 19th) welcomed baby Isabella Pawlina to their family so now little Johnnie and Luther (twin boys) are big brothers! We praise God for her safe arrival.
While Htaw Pai now has a (nearly full-time) job, he has several months of debt, a promissory note for the flight here to repay, and after he pays rent he’ll have only about $150 per month to pay for utilities and all non-food stamp items. This family really needs diapers (sizes 1 and 6). They also need laundry soap, shampoo, dish soap, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc. Please bring any donations to any of the team members at any time ;-)
New Baby Needs
The two families we’ve been helping who both recently had TOTALLY beautiful babies this August are also in need of supplies – diapers (sizes 1,3,6), laundry soap, shampoo, cleaning supplies.
Driving opportunities abound! Adequate TRANSPORTATION is critical to this ministry. Very few of our Karen friends have cars. While we are grateful for all those of you who’ve stepped up to help in this capacity, we would be grateful for more help. Sunday mornings we rarely have enough drivers and someone has to return to Sandy Forks to pick up more Karen in time for Sunday School (contact Jason). What an exciting problem!!! Other driving opportunities include driving kids to and from church Wednesdays for tutoring (contact Michele) and helping with medical driving.
Taking a refugee to just one appointment will convince you of the importance of this ministry. It is humbling to see how difficult it is for a refugee to navigate a doctor’s visit. In many cases taking public transportation is not an option, bus routes and/or times don’t line up, how does one ride a bus traveling with a toddler and a baby? And then there is so much paperwork to fill out. Even our experienced teen translators struggle with understanding many of the forms. Without our help many of these people just wouldn’t go to a doctor or dentist. In fact, many of our Karen friends haven’t been to the dentist, yet. We need drivers even this coming week. In fact, one option to consider is taking responsibility for one family’s doctor or dental visits, arranging their appointments around your schedule, taking them to and from their appointments, so we can take their ‘name’ off our calendar. That would be awesome! I have a few ‘regular’ drivers who have who would love to talk about the joy they’ve found helping in this capacity. My personal desire is to grow the pool of ‘regulars’ so we can adequately help this refugee community. Please continue to pray for this ministry and those involved and ask God to show you how you can help.
One family has been struggling since their foodstamps were drastically reduced recently. If you can help in this way please contact Pat Rayl. They would be grateful for fruit, vegetables, rice or chicken.