St. John’s and St. Luke/James have been active cosponsors for the Mirzada Afghani family now for 4 ½ months. Our team now has members providing essential items for the family not covered by SNAP benefits, providing transportation for large grocery trips and school food pick-ups, troubleshooting phone and computer services, acting as intermediaries to assist with making some school and medical appointments, and providing transportation if needed. Our team is also beginning to provide some language and phonetics support work for the parents outside of the English language classes provided through Open Door Learning Center in NE Minneapolis, and hopes soon to begin real-time public transportation tutorials with older members of the family.

The younger children are adjusting to their elementary classroom routines and come home ready to practice English on visitors and happily ride bicycles provided for them by sponsors. The high school children are receiving special ESL services as they also adjust to life at Edison High School. Regular classes will continue until June 24 for all of the children, after which they will continue with Summer School Monday through Thursday through the end of July.

Aside from the glorious arrival of spring and bicycles, a working sewing machine, balcony container vegetable garden, window air conditioners and floor fans, beautiful rugs and floor cushions have all contributed to the family’s autonomy and well-being during the month of May.

The ultimate goal for the family is to be self-sufficient for most of life’s necessities. With that goal in mind MCC (Minnesota Council of Churches) has assigned the family an employment case worker to manage and guide the process of finding work to pay future utilities and rent. We continue to assist with needs for that process as they become known to us, i.e. using public transportation, obtaining Minnesota ID cards, working on English, supporting general family well-being. Working with the Mirzada Family, and receiving their generosity and kindness in turn, is a great pleasure and mutual blessing. Please keep them in your prayers as they encounter new resettlement challenges.

In peace,

Diane Erdmann