Once again I have been deeply moved by the deep pain and sense of loss that the refugees in our neighborhood endure on a daily basis. Yesterday, while teaching English sewing terms to a Muslim man, he opened up about why and how he left his home country. He shared that he has a wife and three children at home. The youngest was just 2 1/2 months old when he was taken from his home and thrown in prison simply because he had a prospering tailoring business which angers the government officials in his country. After a period of time, he managed to escape and eventually made his way to Libya where he lived for 2 years until the uprising last year. At that time he was removed from the country and taken to a refugee camp in Egypt. He has not had any contact with his wife and children since his arrest over 4 years ago. When he told me this, I commented how painful that has to be. He looked away momentarily and when he made eye contact again, his eyes were flooded with tears. I reached out, he grabbed me, wrapped his arms around me, laid his head on my shoulder, and wept. Because his family lives in a remote village, they have no cell phone reception.
- Please pray that this man can contact friends, in the nearest city, who will then make contact with his family.
- Pray that he will have the opportunity to heard the voices of his wife and children soon,
- More importantly pray that this man will hear the voice of the one true God.
This man is just one of many who are separated from loved ones. A number of men in the community have wives and children in their home countries, a number of persons do not know where their parents are or where their siblings are, and finally a number of parents do not know where some of their children are. A Christian Sudanese man, who has been here for years, recently told Gary,”people look at us and see whole persons, talking, laughing and going about our daily lives, but in reality we have lost so much that many of us are walking shell.”
- Please pray that these folks would have strength to live on victoriously in the face of overwhelming pain and loneliness.
- Pray for God’s grace and mercy in their lives.
- Pray for God’s peace to reign in their broken hearts.
Dayton is again receiving a huge influx of new refugees. For a number of reasons, Catholic Social Services has had to look at other areas in the city to resettle some of these people. This has created a whole new set of challenges for our ministry. On Sunday evening I walked into a home on Neal Ave. and was greeted by 6 new persons who are living in a different area of the city. When I began introducing myself, they told me they already knew who I was. New arrivals soon learn how our ministry has impacted others and look to us for assistance, advice, encouragement, love and acceptance.
- Pray for Barb, Gary and me as we continue to reach out and build relationships, assist with the daily challenges of assimilating into a new culture, and respond to the continually changing challenges.
- Pray that God will sustain us both physically and emotionally
- Pray that we will continue to look to Him for wisdom, strength, and the courage to face each challenge that presents itself.
- Pray that others would come alongside us and use their gifts to help lift up and support these often bewildered and frightened newcomers.
Several of the refugees are experiencing health problems and some do not have insurance.
- Please pray for health and well-being of the refugees
- Pray that God would open doors for insurance and health care
- Pray for the organizational framework of the Refugee Ministry
- Pray that new opportunities for economic development and neighborhood transformation would arise