Christ the King, Cary
CTK has been “Welcoming the Stranger” for almost 50 years. CTK began working with the Alkhateb family in November 2021. The family, originally from Syria, had been war refugees in Jordan for eight years prior to their arrival. CTK formed a “Circle of Welcome” team through Lutheran Services Carolinas (LSC) to help the family get settled.
Here is a snapshot of what the family, the team, and LSC have accomplished in 6 short months:
- Housing: The family has settled into a two-bedroom apartment. CTK’s donations helped furnish the apartment and the “Circle of Welcome” team cleaned and set up the apartment prior to the family’s arrival.
- Education: The boys attend Athens Drive High School while Roaa attends Dillard Drive Middle School. LSC and the team intervened to stop a very serious bullying incident at one of the schools.
- English as a Second Language (ESL): The team provides in-home English lessons and obtained refurbished computers for Younes and Etab. Etab is enrolled in an online ESL class through Wake Tech. Martha Circle made Arabic to English flashcards for the family.
- Transportation: The family was given a used car from a Syrian friend. Both Younes and Etab worked hard to get their driver’s licenses. The team has transitioned from showing the family bus routes to driving the family to important appointments to making sure they know how to get to destinations for work and medical care.
- Employment: A former truck driver, Younes recently started work as a driver and warehouse worker for the Interfaith Food Shuttle. LSC found the job and the team helped fill out an application and get the required screenings. Previously, Younes had found himself a part-time job at a local eatery.
- Health Care: Health care is provided through Medicaid. The welcome team helped find a doctor and dentist who speak Arabic and assisted with transportation for the family’s COVID shots and other appointments.
- Food and Clothing: The team helped qualify the family for assistance from Dorcas Ministries and takes Etab to the food pantry and to shop for clothing at the thrift store.
- Financial Support: The budget provided by the congregation for refugee support has been critical to fill in the gaps, especially at the beginning when Medicaid cards and food assistance were delayed.
Thanks to all who have contributed in some way to this effort.
The Bishop’s Challenge will change lives! Christ the King, Cary, has been doing refugee resettlement for decades; your congregation can start today. Start your own Circle of Welcome group with help from Lutheran Services Carolinas and be a part of the NC Synod Bishop’s Challenge.
This article was reprinted with permission from Christ the King Lutheran Church, Cary, N.C.