When the Circle of Welcome volunteers from Redeemer Lutheran Church learned that they would be paired with a young, African family coming to the U.S. in less than a month, they were filled with gratitude and anticipation. Having recently heard from LSG staff members during a presentation and sermon on Refugee Sunday, the volunteers knew well how few refugees have been able to make it through the system, and they had expected to have to wait for months before the next refugee family arrived in Atlanta.
The team flew into action to prepare for the Shabani family’s arrival, mobilizing dozens of other church members to assist with a donation drive to equip the family’s apartment*. They recruited friends from their community with relevant language skills and circulated links to help one another learn about the region and culture of the family.
Finally, the big day arrived, and a group of eager Circle of Welcome volunteers assembled at the Atlanta airport to welcome the Shabani family. When the young couple with their two toddlers walked through to the revolving door into the baggage claim area, six Circle of Welcome members were there to greet them, along with several of the family’s relatives who had been resettled a few years before. Soon, the Shabani’s were hugging and laughing with the Cirlce team.
Zak, the LSG case manager, smilingly reported, “You don’t see that hugging each time, before they know each other, but the family was just so happy—happy that people were there for them!”
Will your faith or community group be the next to embrace refugees in friendship and love? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!
*Family name has been changed for the protection of their privacy.