A Christmas Story of Welcome

Members of the co-sponsorship team from Holy Trinity Lutheran in Minneapolis worked diligently for weeks collecting furniture, household goods, school supplies, personal hygiene items, and car seats for a Karen family of 9. They also worked to line up drivers, babysitters, shoppers, and a support system to accompany their family through the first difficult weeks in Minnesota. Literally one day before the family was to leave Thailand, MCC Refugee Services received notice that their travel had been cancelled and that there was no plan to reschedule their arrival in Minnesota.

Of course, everyone’s primary concern was for the welfare of the family: what was to happen to them; where would the mother find the medical attention she needed; where would they go?  Soon, the c-osponsors’ thoughts turned to all the stored furniture and supplies and what they should do with them. They offered MCC everything they had collected allowing, us to furnish apartments for two newly-arrived families.

The team leader’s final question of us was: How soon can you give us another family to co-sponsor?  Who could have known that just one month later, the same Karen family of 9 was re-booked to travel?  It didn’t take long for Holy Trinity to decide, again, to cosponsor this family of 9 and work has begun all over again. And what better time than Christmas to welcome a fleeing refugee family?

We are so privileged at MCC Refugee Services to work with church communities who are the salt of the earth. As Christians celebrate Advent, the season of making room for Jesus, we were so struck by this church’s eagerness to make preparations to welcome this large family twice.

If you would like to learn more about partnering in the ministry of co-sponsoring a refugee family in 2019, we would love to share more with you! Please contact rsvolunteers@mnchurches.org to talk more about what is involved or to schedule an informational presentation.