December 14 2018
The First Central Refugee Team has been busy over the past two weeks as we prepare to furnish a 2-bedroom apartment for the family that arrives on Friday, January 11th. In addition to finding useful items at the Evergreen Thrift Shop, we’ve had generous donations from First Central members and friends, and several committee members took advantage of holiday sales to secure such basic items as bed linens, cooking utensils, and tableware.
On Saturday, January 5, our volunteers will mobilize to transport all of the donated items to the refugee family’s apartment in northwest Omaha. And then, on Friday, January 11th, a small group will be at the airport to welcome the family with a car seat (for the toddler child) and warm winter coats, scarves, and gloves.
Lutheran Family Services (LFS) is coordinating with the refugee family (a father, mother, and 3-year-old) and appropriate agencies; First Central’s Refugee Committee acts as the co-sponsor for this family. Our commitment includes furnishing the family’s apartment (including purchasing culturally appropriate groceries), attending a special workshop (scheduled for Saturday, January 12th) led by LFS, and then helping these family members adapt to their new environment so that they can become self-sufficient quickly.
If you didn’t know, our notification of this family’s arrival came just 2 weeks before Christmas! We had a quick meeting on Sunday, December 16th, because several of our team members had irrevocable plans over the holidays. It has been exciting to watch how First Central’s members have worked together to furnish this family’s apartment in the midst of uncertain weather and holiday commitments!
After the hubbub of holiday activities and the cacophony of sales pitches, it is a joy to be engaged in activities that reflect the spirit of the season. (I could not help but to think of the story of Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem. They didn’t need a committee to furnish an apartment for them, but I’m sure they’d have appreciated it!)
Many thanks to all who have volunteered and donated.
If you would like to become involved, please contact Pat Lamberty, firstname.lastname@example.org, 402-253-9881, who heads this committee.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
I was a stranger and you welcomed me.
Matt 25:35 (ESV)