Submitted by Rev. Patty Walker, Prairie Campus Pastor, FUMC Colorado Springs, CO
First United Methodist Church, Prairie Campus, has sponsored two Afghan families through Lutheran Refugee Services, in Colorado Springs
. The first family we are working with arrived in November. A mom and dad, five children, and a baby due in about 5 months. Our second newly arrived family includes a mom and dad, two very little children, and a cousin.
We have a "support team" of 5 to 6 people from our church who journey alongside each family for at least 6 months. (A different team for each Afghan family.) But the friendships are growing deep so I suspect we will be involved in each other's lives for a long time. We help out with practicing English, taking them on errands, helping the kids get settled in school, etc. But the most important thing is the emotional support and connection.
In terms of financial and practical help, we completely furnished their apartments (furniture, kitchen supplies, linens, etc.) and raised monetary donations to help them begin their new lives. This has been a beautiful new ministry for us and we have been deeply blessed. If you would like any more information don't hesitate to reach out at 719-650-4246.
A special thank you to Rev. Ann Lantz and her UMC church in Estes Park that also helped collect household items for our families, which was a wonderful partnership with them! And a shout-out to the downtown campus of FUMC-CS, which also helped collect household items and conducted a successful fundraising campaign for needed monies.