Refugee Co-Sponsoring: Experiences and Blessings by Gordon I. Waddilove
What is it like to ‘lend a hand’ to a family of refugees coming to settle in the USA? Refugees have fled or been expelled from their homeland because of famine, war or disaster of some kind. It is another trauma to adjust to life in a culture that is usually totally new to them. These new immigrants arrive with minimal money and frequently with little ability to speak English. They are, however, survivors of enormous challenges and arrive in the USA with great hopes and visions for a different and better future.
Most of the text is a chronological record of experiences and blessings recorded in emails to volunteers by Gordon I. Waddilove, Third Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan, Refugee Coordinator. The church group was mentored by representatives of Bethany Christian Services, the official Sponsors of the family and the emails will give readers insight into what it was like to help! The time period of the emails is the first six months of the sponsored family’s life in Grand Rapids. The communications were sent to church members and friends either involved actively with ‘Our Family’ or interested and supportive of ‘Our Family.’ Readers will be introduced to the challenges, blessings and discoveries as we worked to assist our very limited-English speaking family adjust to living in their new homeland.