Are you new to SHPC or just looking for a different way to make a real difference by serving? Our partnership with Refugee Services of Texas, for the purpose of helping to resettle families from other parts of the world who must give up their country and come to a foreign land, is a rewarding and exciting mission opportunity that may be just what you’re looking for.
One of our families, Ee Sar, Ra Ki Mar and their five children, arrived from the refugee camp in Thailand in the spring of 2008. The next week they began English lessons and within four weeks Ee Sar was employed with the Hyatt downtown. He told me (after three months in the US) his goal is to one day move his family to a better home and to drive and buy a car. I asked him what he misses about Burma and he said “Nothing, except my parents and other family members.”
On June 21, 2008 Ee Sar and family—along with many other refugees from around the world—participated in World Refugee Day at St. Davids’ Episcopal church. Volunteers from SHPC also attended this event. The highlight that day for me was witnessing the naturalization ceremony of 20 refugees from countries including Bosnia, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Vietnam, and Iran. One new US citizen had been a refugee for 16 years. This now 27-year-old told us the American dream is not a house nor color TV. She said the dream is freedom. Watching them take the citizenship oath and knowing they have had to pass tests on civics, American history and language, my respect for them was immense. I am proud that SHPC plays a part in helping the oppressed of the world find a safe and new life in our country and specifically in our own town!
A refugee is a person who “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country…”
—the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees
The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Psalm 9:9
If you would like more information or would like to volunteer please contact me, Cathy Beard, at 263-9910. For information about Multicultural Refugee Coalition, visit their website.