What next?

Here’s the latest news about our recent book, This Much I Can Tell You.

They say that in the book business, 25% of the work is creating and publishing the book–75% is getting other people to read it.

It’s hard to imagine that the bulk of this project is still yet to come, but we are excited about all of the opportunities we will have to share these inspiring stories with others in Minnesota.

After our big book release celebration on June 20th, we’ve taken a bit of a break to recuperate and focus on our insanely busy summer here at MCC Refugee Services. In July alone, we welcomed over 70 individuals to Minnesota. To put that in perspective, that is about 25% of our expected number for the entire fiscal year! This book project is only a small piece of what MCC Refugee Services is all about. We are in the daily business of offering welcome, extending hospitality, driving people here and there, helping with paperwork, and just generally coming alongside people to help them adjust to life in Minnesota. It is quite the journey! And as many of you probably know, now that you’ve read “This Much I Can Tell You,” refugees come to Minnesota with a world of experiences–both wonderful and traumatic.

Volunteers greet a refugee family at the airport

Since 1979, Minnesota has welcomed over 93,000 refugees to our state. Refugee resettlement is, above all else, considered a humanitarian rescue program.  It is the last resort for people who have fled their countries and cannot return for fear of persecution. Often refugees live for years, sometimes decades, in refugee camps, until they are finally offered the chance to apply for resettlement. Refugees are beautifully resilient people. They are the survivors.  (For more about the refugee resettlement process, click here.)

So now that we have a published book of some of Minnesota’s new refugee neighbors, we want as many people as possible to read it. Why? It is our hope that the stories contained in these pages will serve to educate, inspire, and turn people’s hearts toward the strangers in their midst. We hope that it will be a historical record for the few families represented, and for refugee communities at large. We hope that the refugee storytellers who now each own a copy of the book will experience healing. One of the refugee storytellers called me last week to say, “Thank you for sending me the book. I read it from page one to the end. It helped me understand other refugees in Minnesota. Please tell the other staff that I called.”

We hope that this was a similar experience for you. If you haven’t read it yet, consider purchasing a copy today from Beaver’s Pond Books. If you can relate to the quote above and want to help others better understand refugees in Minnesota better, consider joining with us in spreading the word about this book. We welcome you to post a link to this blog on your Facebook page, to buy books as gifts for friends and family, and even to suggest the book to book clubs with which you are familiar. Another idea is to start stopping by your neighborhood independent bookstore and start asking for “This Much I Can Tell You.” They may not have it on their shelves yet, but it is our hope that there would be a great enough demand for bookstores to recognize its value.

We have a lot of ideas brewing for events and activities surrounding “This Much I Can Tell You” so stay tuned!

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