Wednesday, December 8, 2010
I called Kim today because I haven't talked to her in about 2 weeks and I was just missing her. She thanked me for the clothes I sent for her son Peter last week. Pau delivered them for me. She said, "Because of Jen we have ENOUGH clothes for 2010 and 2011. We have have enough clothes for spring, summer, winter. We have soooo many clothes." She kept saying that she had many, many clothes now for everyone in her family. I laughed because I have never heard anyone say that they had enough clothes for the next year too. She said, "Jen, in my country we had 3 sets of clothes. When they were dirty we'd wash them and wear them again. But then I come to America and Jen gives me sooo many many clothes. Thank you, God bless you, but we don't need more clothes!"
Friday, December 3, 2010
Yesterday Danelle picked up Yvonne to clean a church. Danelle is a beautiful, skinny friend of mine. Yvonne is becoming a favorite African refugee of ours. As they were on their way Yvonne asked Danelle if she had a boyfriend. Danelle said no. Then Yvonne started touching Danelle's stomach. Danelle of course was like what are you doing? Yvonne said, "See you DO have a boyfriend. You weren't ticklish when I touched your stomach so you are used to having your boyfriend touch you there." Ha! Danelle said, "No really, I don't have a boyfriend!" Danelle is still getting a good laugh from this story!
The adventure didn't stop there. After Danelle was done cleaning the church she went outside and Yvonne was in the bathroom and she thought Yvonne would come out as soon as she was finished. But after a period of time Yvonne wasn't coming outside and the door to the church was locked so Danelle started peeking in all the windows of the church to spot Yvonne. Finally she spotted her walking out of the front door so she walked around to the front of the door and started to say "Hey, I...." Yvonne screamed and ran away. After a few minutes Yvonne realized it was Danelle and they had a good laugh.
Ah, funny things happen when our cultures mix!
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Every now and then I feel like I'm in a movie. Tonight was no exception.
I didn't have a good feeling today when Kim called me today to set up a meeting. Kim is everyone's favorite person to clean with. Her smile and laughter are infectious. I'm pretty sure I laugh every time I talk to her. And she cleans so well. I never have to worry about anyone calling me to complain when Kim cleans because she is always good which is so nice for me as her boss.
Ever since she called I've been full of anxiety and my fears were realized when she came over tonight and shared with me a letter from Missouri Department of Social Services stating the department gave Kim and her husband Kam too many food stamps and thus they owed them $1,901. This is more money than they make in a month, so can you imagine what a horrible day that must have been to get the letter? Kim told me that Sherryl Laws tried to get the department to reduce the amount, but to no avail. Kim explained that they have been paying $100 each month since April but in order to keep receiving food stamps she has to quit working for Safi Sana until her husband can get a better job and they can completely get out of using food stamps.
I understood that there was nothing I could do about Kim working for me until Kam got a better job. So, can you pray please that he does? Kim said that he is interviewing at Kelley Services and if he gets the job they will be able to make enough money where they won't need food stamps and she can come back to work . (She said if I would have her...well of course!) Will you pray he gets the job? Please Jesus...
As she said goodbye to me I pulled out a check written to the amount she still owed MO Dept of Social Services...$1,101 We couldn't let this story end badly completely, now could we? I had been wanting to give my non-profit some money any way and this was definitely a situation close to my heart. As I handed the check to Kim she ran out of my front door down the steps and said, "No!" I ran after her into the driveway where she stopped and I was able to stuff it in her pocket. She said, "No, you've been so nice and I will never forget you." Large tears began to roll down her face. I had never seen her cry. I said, "It's a gift from Safi Sana and City of Refuge." She was still sad and didn't want me to see her sad but her her husband wasn't in the driveway with the car. She said that Peter was crying (her 18 month-old) so Kam was probably driving around the neighborhood. I wanted to stay with her outside but her heart was heavy and she told me to go inside because I was tired. I watched out the window as she walked down the street.
Ah, so sad.
I pray that God will bless my friend.
Sunday, November 7, 2010
I decided to finally start blogging because funny things happen to me all the time.
Today, was no exception. I attended a celebration put on by a family, Taw Taw's family, who has now been in the United States for a year. The event was held at the Salvation Army Church which is right by their home. Noel, Matt, JP and I went in and immediately saw my friend Lori Stoll who said they were having a service before we ate. I sat down among 60 to 75 Burmese, some I knew and some I didn't. After some singing Taw Taw's dad stood up and began to thank Lori for all the wonderful things she has done for their family this past year. It was very touching and I whole heartedly agreed with everything he said. He said such wonderful things like when my son is older I hope he takes care of you when you are older as well as our family. He said I know my life will be good because you are in our lives...on and on. Then he stopped and started to say something nice about me. He said, "When my family first came to America it was discovered that one of my sons had something wrong with him. You drove him to the hospital. I did not know how to get to the hospital. I could not get a hold of my caseworker but you helped me. I needed food and you brought me food to the hospital. I had never seen nor tasted any of the food you brought me before. It gave me a big headache but I am thankful." He went on to say about another sentence or so but I couldn't help but laugh really hard inside. That was one of the funniest things I had heard in a long time. The snack food I had brought him to eat while his son was in the hospital gave him a big headache but he was thankful. Ah, so funny.
My hope for this blog is that you will see what I, my family, and others like Barry and Lori Stoll are able to see one a daily basis, the beauty and fun we experience while serving the refugees of Columbia, MO.