Showing Us How

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From the Desk of Judy Barnett, Missions Chair

Showing us how:

I just returned from our most recent Welcome Home set-up (June 26). Bethany members provided household goods and set up a home for a family from The Republic of the Congo: father, mother, and two daughters, ages 20 and 17. As we were making beds and setting up the rooms, we thought about the family arriving and starting a new life. What would the think of the neighborhood? How will they get on? Will they find jobs? Did we bring the foods they would like? Did we do it right?

One of the things I love about Bethany is the capable, resourceful, and giving body of volunteers we have in the congregation. They have shown me how to be the hands and feet of Jesus. The problems of the world are overwhelming at times, but I know we have made a difference in the lives of many in our community. Our work to help refugees is a part of the Missions Committee efforts this year.

Last fall the Committee discussed what would Jesus do if He were here among us? We concluded that he’d start by feeding and clothing and housing people. After all, Jesus, Joseph and Mary were Immigrants. Through our connection with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), we have set up households for 8 families since September! The families were from Colombia, Syria, Sudan, Myanmar (Burma), The Congo. This summer the IRC has large number of families to house. We will have more opportunities to serve.

WELCOME HOME: Many have been involved, but I am so grateful to Carol Miller especially, who is showing us all how to pull things together. Carol has a knack for finding things people need for the best price—she is a super saavy shopper and she’s very calm and positive about how things are moving along. Sharon Davis has provided many items and the “first supper meals” for the families. I also appreciate how she calls us to pray as we start and end our work. Karen Steenhoek and Jan Vasilas have also found items for the house and jump in to set up. Barb Pavao provided many items from her home and her parents home as they downsized. Many people have come through with the items we needed just at the right time.

When we read about immigrants from Latin America being bussed to DC and dropped off at Union Station, several churches on Capitol Hill banded together and set up a program to receive the asylum seekers and help with next steps. The Capitol Hill United Methodist Church (CHUMC) had the Thursday program. CHUMC provided the venue and the structure for Bethany folks and other volunteers to serve. When I volunteered at CHUMC, I was impressed that most of the volunteers, including the leads, were not members of CHUMC; they were from other churches. They found CHUMC to be a welcoming place that enabled them to serve the community.

Bethany is becoming that kind of church too.

Do you want to help?

For the Welcome Home Project to set up households for immigrant families:
• Donate household goods this summer to supply the families. Keep a copy of the attached list to make purchases as you shop this summer.
• Join us on a moving day – contact Judy Barnett or Ellen Prucha
• Contact Judy Barnett or Ellen Prucha if you have furniture or household items to donate.

Check the Cyber Beacon and the Missions page on the Church website for information about our other programs this summer. In addition to Welcome Home, we have a food drive in July, collections for Charlotte’s medical mission to Honduras, volunteering at a farm to collect produce for food banks, and a work day at a vocational training school for textile trades.