Tag Archives: refugees

Refugee Services in the News!

We were recently featured in a Star Tribune article written by reporter Mila Koumpilova. Mila shadowed case manager Katia Iverson as she worked with a newly arrived Somali family for their first 90 days in Minnesota.  We were excited to have such a realistic and detailed portrait of a new refugee family’s journey shared with the public and wanted to share it here on our blog in case you have any difficulty accessing the Star Tribune’s archive of the article. Years with no nation, 90 days to become a Minnesotan Poised to take in thousands of refugees, Minnesota navigates hurdles. By Mila Koumpilova, Star Tribune • Photographs by Reneé Jones Schneider, Star Tribune AUGUST 28, 2016 Katia Iverson and Abdirahman Abdullahi have 90 days together. For Katia, the case manager, that’s the time she gets to usher newly arrived refugees into life in Minnesota. For Abdi, a father of five who landed … Continue reading

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Co-Sponsorship: The Cornerstone of Church Ministry to Refugees

Did you know that nearly half of all foreign-born residents in Minnesota are refugees? Each year Minnesota welcomes around 2,100 new refugees and your church can play an important role in welcoming these new families through co-sponsorship with MCC Refugee Services. Co-sponsorship is the cornerstone of refugee care ministry. So far in 2016, teams from 4 different churches and community groups partnered with MCC Refugee Services to help newly arriving refugee families connect to their new community in a well-supported, cooperative way. Many more have committed to future months and are busy building their teams and praying for their yet-to-arrive refugee family. Co-sponsorship teams work with our staff on tasks like setting up the family’s apartment, greeting them at the airport, helping transport them to and supporting them during their important appointments, & helping with school enrollment. In addition to those tasks, teams also help their refugee family find the … Continue reading

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Welcoming Mu Lah

Recently, Jessi and Tyler joined our Taking Root team to give Mu Lah’s* family a warm welcome to Minnesota. As fellow newcomers to the Twin Cities, Jessi and Tyler were looking for a way to meet their neighbors and explore their new community. Read on to hear Jessi’s story of the blessing of friendship they received from Mu Lah’s family. A couple of years ago my husband and I were still relatively new to Minnesota and were aching for a way to meet new people and get involved. We knew that Minneapolis/St. Paul was home to one of the nation’s largest refugee populations and felt called to refugee support services. We had just spent two years in West Africa with the Peace Corps and knew how difficult it was to adjust to a new place, culture, and pace of life. To our great fortune, we found out about MCC and … Continue reading

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The Gift of Warmth

Every year, refugees arrive to Minnesota in light summer attire that is totally inadequate for our winters. MCC Refugee Services has coats on hand at the airport for winter arrivals, but for those who arrived in more temperate months, the onset of the winter chill comes long after their arrival. For these families, MCC Refugee Services holds an annual coat giveaway at the MN Church Center. Why is giving away coats so important? As we help people establish stable, self-sufficient lives in the Twin Cities, the “small” things—like feeling warm in the bitter winter cold—make a huge difference. When a refugee’s immediate needs for warmth and housing are met, they can better focus their energies, resourcefulness, and resilience on going to school, finding work, learning English, and adjusting to a new place, new people, and a new climate. This year’s coat giveaway was an exciting day, and as people streamed … Continue reading

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