Monday, May 16, 2011

One More Idea - Monia

We have one more idea of how you can give. One of our Safi Sana cleaners, a Tunisian immigrant named Monia, is going through a very hard time. I'd love to tell you the whole story, but for her privacy we will just leave it at that for now. She is completely taking care of herself with what she earns from Safi Sana. And her school schedule has made her not available a lot. So, she has been earning less than $100 every 2 weeks. Monia is a Muslim woman that we want to practically demonstrate the love of Jesus towards. She is in need of a cell phone and we purchased her one for $20/month. Can you help us cover this expense? When she is able to work more we will have her take over this bill, but for now we need to step in and help her.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ways To Give -- Computers & School

We have identified some needs and fun things to give to and were wondering if others would like to help us with these.

First of all a sweet Mexican college student that we all love, Lizeth Castro, put her laptop on her car this weekend. She put her bags, etc, in the car and headed down Broadway. You guessed it, as she was driving her computer flew off the top of her car and the car behind her drove over it. Would you like to help us get Lizeth a new laptop?

Secondly, Etienne received "Student of the Year" and recognition for his Gates Scholarship at a Rock Bridge High School awards ceremony this week. Etienne will be heading off to college this Fall and we would like to see him bring a laptop with him to school. Would you like to help us get a laptop for him?

And finally Marianne Bihomora, one of our favorite Rwandan refugees, is helping to take care of her niece in Rwanda. In fact, Marianne has started the paperwork to get her a visa to live here in the U.S. with her. I found out today that Marianne doesn't have any money in her bank account, yet not only is she working hard to provide for her own family she is also trying to raise $80 to pay for her niece's schooling in Rwanda. Would you like to help us pay for the schooling?

All your gifts are tax-deductible because City of Refuge is a 501c3 non-profit organization. We will provide you with a receipt.

Would you like the joy of giving today? Then drop by or mail us a check to: City of Refuge; 102 Dayspring Dr; Columbia, MO 65203. Every $1 helps.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Visiting Yvonne Tomorrow/Garage Sale

Tomorrow is Yvonne's court date for her charge of public nudity. (She was bathing in Bear Creek.) I wrote a letter on her behalf to the prosecuting attorney's office. (That was a first for me!) Caritas, Mary Kate, and I are headed to the jail in the morning to visit her. I'll let you know how that goes.

We are having a big garage sale for City of Refuge on Saturday. We are hoping to raise $500. So, why have a garage sale? City of Refuge completely relies on private donations. At this point, no church, federal, or state program donates money to help us help refugees. So, we need money to help pay for Caritas Habimana's salary that we give her for her daily work with the refugees. And we need money to help pay for the ongoing needs of the refugees. So, that's why we are having a sale. We are so thankful for all the items that have been donated so far. If you have anything to give, you can still do so on Thursday May 5 or Friday May 6. The items can be brought to 1408 Waterford. Since we are a 501c3, all donations are tax deductible. Come donate or shop for a good cause!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Yvonne Update & Fund Raising

Well, sad news. Yvonne is in jail for having a fire in a part of the city where you shouldn't make a fire. So in our jail tonight sits Yvonne along with people who have committed worse crimes. If Yvonne posted bond she could go "home" but she doesn't have the $500 she needs to post bond. I asked a friend of mine recently who is a Columbia Police Officer if it's better for Yvonne to be in jail since she is not sleeping under a bridge, but he said no. He said the jail is not a place that anyone wants to be because of the dangerous people who reside there. So of course I have questions that I'm wondering about. Should I contact the sheriff and see if Yvonne can be forced to get help from us and get off the street? Will the sheriff work with us? Will Yvonne be willing to be helped? My next step is to go and visit Yvonne with Caritas on Thursday morning. If you want to come too, let me know. Visiting hours are from 8:45am - 9:45am. I want to see if Yvonne wants help or if she wants to stay in jail. She's not always in her right mind, so it's a legit question.

We did have exciting news this week! Kyrsten Skulborstad, a great friend of mine, worked with some journalism students and made us a couple of videos:

City of Refuge: Humble Beginnings. Big Hearts. [Extended]

City of Refuge: Humble Beginnings. Big Hearts. [Shortened]

From Refugee to Scholar: Etienne's Story

Our greatest need right now with City of Refuge is getting known and getting support so we can help the refugees. One of the videos features Caritas Habimana and we pay Caritas a monthly stipend so she can continue working with the refugees. Her monthly stipend is small really for all she does. Help support Caritas by supporting City of Refuge.

We are having a garage sale on Friday and Saturday to raise funds for City of Refuge. If you have items you can donate, email us at