Refugee Resettlement

   Thomas and Bassma

Refugee Resettlement Ministry Update                                  January 18, 2010
Thomas and Bassma had an enjoyable holiday season and have started a hopeful new year here in Connecticut.  When they mentioned that they had always had a Christmas tree in Iraq, confirmand Emily Jacobs and her mom jumped right in to help them celebrate with a beautiful tree, Brookfield style.  A New Yearís Eve trip to New York City, meals with friends and Avatar in 3-D have added lots of fun to their lives.
Bassma continues to work two jobs, in the mornings as a preschool teacher at the Gingerbread School House in Bethel and afternoon and evenings at Stew Leonardís serving coffee.  She enjoys both positions, and everyone at Stewís knows the name of the lovely young woman from Iraq.  A big thank you to all the drivers who make these jobs possible.  Bassma is also still studying for her driverís license with lots of teachers, including Sue and Ashley, helping her along the way.
Because Bassma has been able to cover all the Janabisí expenses, Thomas has been able to enroll at the Community Culinary School in New Milford.  This 35 hour a week, 3 month program has a 95% placement rate in the food service industry.  Thomasís tuition, $3,500, is covered by grants.  The school is also an excellent English immersion opportunity for Thomas.  So far he has gotten 90s on his weekly tests and appreciates the ESL help of Joe, Carol and Patty.  He drives himself to school in the little red truck donated by the Bonns.
The next stage in our Refugee Resettlement Ministry is one of the most challenging.  In early February we will begin looking for new housing for Thomas and Bassma.  They will move to their own apartment this spring, but never out of our hearts and lives.

Support for our churchís Refugee Resettlement Ministry comes from Yankee Fair funds and IRIS (Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services). However, the primary support for our ministry is the countless volunteer hours put in by dedicated church members (over 50!), Lions Club members, friends at the Bridgewater Congregational Church and the Danbury Mosque. What a real community endeavor!

It is also your prayers (and your hugs) that encourage the Janabis and all of us on this amazing journey.


This page was last updated on 08/04/2011 01:22 AM.
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