Need in our Pillar Family
Rebecca Deng and Jordan Roeda recently invited Luk, Rebecca's brother and former Sudanese Lost Boy, come to live with them following a month-long hospital stay resulting from an attack. We are praying for a total recovery, and their family has many needs in the meantime. Luk and the Roeda Dengs would benefit from donations of your time. Please consider providing transportation to GR medical appointments, companionship and walks, spiritual mentoring/reading the Bible aloud, shopping for clothing, or childcare for little Deng Jakob. Contact Kat Schulte with questions and to get connected. Please visit www.gofundme.com/pillar-church to make a monetary donation.
There is no denying that when it comes to refugee care, the current climate is tense and the future uncertain. It is definitely important to stay engaged big picture and help make sure that our community remain welcoming to refugees. And at the same time, it is also hugely important to stay faithful to our call to serve in ways that may seem small. Today, be encouraged by one of our brothers who is doing Kingdom work in daily ways:
Paul Ongna (known simply as Pablo to many) stepped up immediately almost a year ago when we met our dear friends, the Mayoms. Then kindergartner, Kalamal, needed rides to and from school every day. Kalamal did not speak any English yet, and was understandably nervous about school in an unknown country. Paul drove Kalamal back and forth to school every day for over a month until other drivers were in place. Nearly a year later, Paul still drives Kalamal home from school at least once or twice a week.
From the first day Paul and Kalamal met, all of us around saw a bond form. Kalamal would ask others about Paul, and a classic huge smile appears on Kalamal’s face anytime Paul steps into his line of sight. It was not until recently that we learned a deeper reason behind their connection. From the very first day Paul met Kalamal, Paul would pray with Kalamal in his car before dropping him off at school. At first Kalamal didn’t know English, and Paul didn’t know if the Mayoms were even Christian; still they prayed. After a time, Paul started asking Kalamal, “what do we need to do, Kalamal?” “Pray!” Kalamal would answer. Sometimes a small candy would follow the prayer, which may have assisted in Kalamal’s enthusiasm for the prayers :). Paul began to encourage Kalamal to pray as well. Like many small children, he was hesitant. But thanks to their relationship and Paul’s disarming spirit, Kalamal would attempt to pray himself.
This routine has been running for about a year whenever Paul picks up Kalamal from school. Kalamal is now fluent in English and thriving in school and extracurricular activities. He is a bright, exuberant, and kind little boy. Recently, Kalamal hopped in the back of Paul’s car and initiated, “Paul, we need to pray!!!”
Who knows precisely the effect that Paul’s faithfulness in prayer with Kalamal has had on his little life. We may not find that out on this side of heaven. The Bob Talbert quote comes to mind, Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best. And the holy words from Proverbs 22:6, Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. May that be a prayer of ours, that when Kalamal is old, he does not depart from the way shown to him by Paul. As author Sarah Bessey says, Thanks be to God who moves mountains. And thanks be to God for the men and women who pick up the stones one after another, after another, until the mountain moves.
At the end of February, the Mayom family will hit their first anniversary of being here in the US. We are so grateful we have had the privilege of getting to know these friends! Below are some of the ways our community can engage:
Hebrew Ulpan Success: On Saturday 21 January, Josephine led about 20 of us in a Hebrew Lesson, or Ulpan. Josephine is a natural in front of a crowd, and everyone involved had a great and silly time. If you missed the Ulpan, stay tuned, because a multi-week series may be coming soon!
High School Exams: Josephine and Jado completed their first semester of exams. Jado passed his history class and Josephine did very well.
Driving: Flora passed her road sign test and Josephine is starting driver’s education. Both Flora and Josephine are ready to start practicing driving. We are so proud of them for moving towards this goal.
Driving Practice: Flora and Josephine need driving practice, first in parking lots, and then on the road.
Taxes: Flora and Bruno will need assistance filing their taxes.
Government Paperwork: The Mayoms will soon be able to start working on their Green Card application. The Mayoms could use the assistance of some detail-oriented people in completing this paperwork.
Prayers: In many ways, the Mayoms are flourishing here in Holland. Please continue to pray for their family unity and love, their confidence and independence, and continued relationship growth in the community.
Please contact Kat Schulte with any questions, firstname.lastname@example.org