In July 2018, Abiding Savior began partnering with Minnesota Council of Churches (MCC) to co-sponsor a refugee family! The Butikima family consists of Wibika (Dad), Beatrice (Mom), and daughters Daniella (17), Quessia (14), Querene (12), and Nathalie (7). The family is from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and they have been living in a refugee camp in Burundi. After receiving refugee status 2002, they have been waiting for the opportunity to leave Burundi for a better life. They have no family or friends here, so it is up to all of us to make them feel welcomed, secure, and loved!
Abiding Savior’s role in the refugee co-sponsorship is to assist the Butikima family for their first four months in the US and help them on the path to self-sufficiency through a supportive partnership with MCC Refugee Services. By offering support to refugees, congregations live out God’s call to welcome the stranger, and help transform a refugee’s new country into a new home.
Abiding Savior is working with MCC Refugee Services staff to:
- Gather essential furnishings and helping set up the family’s apartment
- Welcome the refugee family at the airport
- Provide transportation to initial appointments
- The most important responsibility of a co-sponsoring congregation is to help new arrivals move toward self-sufficiency.
Abiding Savior has been so supportive of the effort to help set up the Butikima family’s apartment, welcoming them when they arrived, and helping with transportation now that the family has arrived and is getting settled.
Below are scenes from moving all the items collected to furnish their home from Abiding Savior to their apartment in St. Paul and setting things up, welcoming them at the airport, and from their first worship service at Abiding Savior.