A note from the St. Mary’s ‘Circle of Welcome’ mentorship group
A mentor group of 5 people from St. Mary’s joined Lutheran Social Services Circle of Welcome program– a resettlement service for newly arrived refugees. We started meeting in April 2018 with a family of 10 from Afghanistan who had arrived in November 2017 with no English, family or friend connections.
Mohamad, the father is working full time at an Indian grocery store. The 3 older boys in their early twenties are working, and going to ESL school, and hoping to make it to college. The 5 younger kids are in school – 4th grade to high school. They 3 girls did not attend school in and the mother Jamilla has not been to school and doesn’t read. She stays home and takes care of her large family. The mentor group has had the most connection with these kids, and the mom.
We have enjoyed getting to know this warm family. They are so generous to us, with their time and affection, and always tea and food to help celebrate the times we are together. Although we have had lots of fun get togethers, it is fair to say that we also worry about them. While they do have a few friends and family in town, and the kids love school, the community for them here is small and the wages impossible so they are still struggling.
Our ‘Circle of Welcome’ group looks forward to sharing some of our stories with the St. Mary’s community. We think they are a wonderful addition to the St Paul community and feel called to help them in a bigger way. If you want to know how you can help please contact Matthew Palombo (email@example.com) 6122125206, or Julie Caruso (firstname.lastname@example.org) 651 307 7583
Darryl, Julie, Fran, Maura and Betsy