Safe Haven – Our New Neighbors

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Since the arrival of the Qader Family on June 24, the Good Neighbor Team (GNT) has been busily helping the family settle into their new lives and prepare them for a successful future.  In the process, the GNT is gaining a whole new understanding of what it means to be a good neighbor.  The Qaders put our American sense of hospitality to shame.  They are continuously welcoming visitors and gladly offering food and something to drink to anyone who stops by.  And, their resourcefulness and perseverance is truly inspiring.  They are transitioning into their new life in ways that we would not have dreamed.

Thanks to our Medical/Government Team, all the legal papers, registrations, and medical requirements have been met. It is not unusual for refugee families to need extensive medical attention, not because they are ill but because they have not had access to medical or dental professionals for years or, in some cases, at all. You may imagine, with eight people in the family, there have been dozens of medical appointments!

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The father and mother, Mohammed and Huda, and the adult children, Rasool and Ekhlas, have been attending English as a Second Language (ESL) class four days a week at Tacoma Community House.  They have also been receiving job preparation training and performing community service to gain some U.S. work experience.

Hats off to our Education Team, who held 1-1/2 hour ESL classes five days a week for the three middle boys over the summer to help them prepare for junior and senior high this fall. The Education Team will also be providing the boys afterschool tutoring during the school year.

Our wonderful Transportation Team has been busy driving the family around to appointments and getting them accustomed to grocery shopping and other places in the area.  But, to no surprise to our Team, Mohammed and Rasool now have jobs, and have purchased two cars. They both also passed their Washington Driver’s License tests, and bought car insurance so that they can take over the responsibility for chauffeuring the family to their many appointments.

The GNT will continue to support and mentor the Qaders in their journey into their new life, but most of all we will remain their friends and companions.  The Qaders have touched our hearts us in ways we could not imagine.

We are thankful for all that the congregation has done to support us and the Qaders.  The Qaders have been overwhelmed by the church’s generosity and friendship.  They have told us that they know we are all “good Christians” because of the love that we have shown them.  It has been amazing to see God’s work through the Safe Haven ministry.

– The Good Neighbor Team

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