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Update on Afghan Families First Lutheran Sponsors

The three related Afghan families, sponsored by First Lutheran Church, continue to live and thrive in Lincoln. The men are currently working at Lincoln Industries or Kawasaki and a few are taking English classes through Lincoln Literacy. Two of the families now live together in a large rental house and our other family is currently seeking a similar arrangement with other extended family members because of a steep hike in rent. The school-age children are adapting, enjoying their classes and quickly picking up English – often helping their parents with translation. We celebrated with our families the birth of a baby girl last September and the engagement of the oldest unmarried son to another recent Afghan arrival.

Though the intensity of our sponsorship has lessened, core members of the Welcoming Refugees Team remain quite involved. Work has transitioned from setting up apartments and job seeking to tutoring the three teenagers, providing transportation to medical/dental appointments and advising on financial realities of living in America. The team has held numerous conversations about declining public benefits, rising rents, paying income taxes (not done in Afghanistan!) and navigating the insurance process after a car accident (no serious injuries). These are all complex topics for most of us; to comprehend them in a foreign language is all the more challenging.

The families frequently express their gratitude to the team and to the church for the generous support of the congregation. Anyone interested in offering further assistance may consider donating gift cards or diapers.

Throughout this welcoming journey, we have assisted them and they have taught us. We have come to appreciate their close family ties, culture of sharing, religious faithfulness, joy of celebration and sheer determination to re-create their lives.

First Lutheran

Author First Lutheran

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