Wonderful things have been happening within the refugee ministry as a result of many prayers.
First, approximately 12 men from the African community will be hired to work in Lima repairing the Ford Motor Company roof. This temporary job will last for 3 months and requires them to relocate to Lima for that time period. This is a real step of faith for these men; many will lose their benefits. However, a real chance exists that these men will be selected to complete an apprenticeship program in January and February which will then enable them to get roofing jobs. John Huss, president of the local roofers union, has assured us that if these men work hard and want to continue roofing, he will find them permanent jobs.
Secondly, the Ethiopian church which meets in our building has stepped forward and initiated an outreach to many of their people in the neighborhood. They have a real burden for the spiritual and psychological needs of these men.
Finally, the church, Dominion Academy, and the Sudanese/ Congolese community have forged a partnership to help students acquire the skills and knowledge needed to pass the Ohio Graduation Test. They will be meeting in our building every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
We are praising God for His faithfulness in answering our prayers on so many fronts. We ask that you continue to pray for the following:
- Pray for housing and transportation for the men who are hired to work in Lima. Gary spoke with David Elkins from the Mennonite church in Lima. One of their church members has a five or six bedroom farmhouse that he opens up for short term use. It is 10 miles from the work site. Gary will be speaking with the owner this evening so please praythat he will be able to communicate the need clearly and come to an agreement on terms and conditions.
- Pray that the selection/hiring process goes smoothly. Pray that those who are selected will work hard so that more opportunities will be open to the refugee community in the future. John Huss, the president of the local roofers union, has contacts in other unions. If these men work hard and do a good job, John and others will come looking for Africans to work for them. Americans have become lazy and soft; they do not want to work, so he is looking for strong men who are motivated to do the tough jobs. Our men have been given a wonderful opportunity; they need our support and prayers.
- Pray for safety as they work and travel back and forth.
- Pray that they all unite and become good friends and co-workers. These men are from several different tribes and countries; therefore, they will become role models of how to live and work in peace.
- Pray for the ones who are not hired. Pray that they will not lose hope. Pray for strength to persevere in their search for jobs and in their quest to learn English.
- Pray for the Ethiopian church. Pray that they will find meaningful ways in which to meet the spiritual and psychological needs of the newest arrivals. Eyayu and Zewdie have been suffering from a bad odor in one of their rooms; the Ethiopian church is purchasing and replacing the carpet in this room. Mr. Vo is working to eliminate the smell radiating from the vent; he is so impressed with the way Zewdie is keeping her house neat and clean – a real testament to Zewdie’s faith and desire to be a godly wife and mother.
- Pray for all the students who will be coming to our church for OGT tutoring on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Pray that they will be able to master the skills needed to pass this test and graduate. Pray that their faith would be enriched. Pray for the tutors that they will have the wisdom, discernment, and creativity to teach the skills in a clear, understandable way.
- Pray for the entire African community in Dayton. More and more African leaders are coming and desiring to work with us in meeting the unique needs of this community. This is a wonderful opportunity to bring together a diverse group committed to prayer and the challenge of meeting huge needs. Together we can accomplish much.
- Pray that clothing, bicycles, and computers will be donated to give out to those who need them.
- Pray for us, the refugee committee, as we continue to reach out to these wonderful people! Pray for wisdom, discernment, and physical and emotional stamina as we are faced with a huge task. Every day I visit the neighborhood I am told by someone that his mind has been “messed up” from all that he has experienced and now he is left confused and confounded. Many are torn because they need money to survive in the U.S., but they desperately want to help their families back home whom they have not seen in years. I see tears and untold sadness, but I never leave without hearing them speak words of hope and of thankfulness for just being given the opportunity to come to America. I have never been hugged by so many men in all my life :)!!!!
In His service,