Just over a year ago, our church (Woodbury Community Church) along with the incredible efforts of World Relief Minnesota welcomed a second refugee family coming from Myanmar (Burma) via Thailand in a crazy adventure that can you can read about here if you like.
And tonight, we welcomed another new family... a family of nine.
It is difficult to even imagine the thoughts that may be traveling around in their minds as they are greeted by this large crowd of Americans, in a metropolitan airport and whisked off to a new home, with information about money, meetings, social services and social security. Wow.
Stories emerged throughout the evening, as discoveries were made and connections figured out. Nieces to the father of the family arrived at the airport alongside our little church group to welcome them.
Two teenage girls had connected via family members and caught a ride to the airport as well, to be reunited with their best friend that had not been seen since leaving the refugee camp months earlier. Former students of my husband's had joined us to provide translation support, since they had been new immigrants from the same area just five years ago and have worked to master English, alongside their native Karen language.
Members of the refugee family that arrived just last year came along with enthusiasm and encouragement, sharing stories and tips, as well as praying with our group at the end of the evening.
As night fell, our group dwindled and went off in separate ways, and the family of nine settled into their new home, and their new life in America.