St. Christopher's Welcomes Afghani Family
St. Christopher's is one of the churches in the diocese that has chosen to sponsor an Afghani family. Our family arrived on September 12 of this year. It is a wonderful group of six women: Zainab (60), Aziza (28), Razia (28). Farzana (20), Roqia (19), and Zakira (17). It has been a fabulous six week journey on many levels. The reason I am writing to you today though is because it has highlighted some of the beautiful connections we have in the diocese. Several times other churches or individuals from other churches who knew about our efforts had brought us supplies to help set up the apartments for our family. My favorite diocesan connection to date brought real joy to our family. My husband and I have a cabin in northern MN and attend Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in International Falls when we are there. In August, shortly after our family's arrival, we were up there for a weekend and Lee Grim asked me to talk briefly about St. Christopher's sponsorship of this family. So I introduced our family of six women to Holy Trinity. At coffee hour after the service Carol Grim asked me if any of the women in our family sewed. I said yes that they were all sewers. She told me that she was on the board of an organization in Minneapolis, the Textile Center, and every fall they gave away leftover fabric and sewing supplies and that they might even have a sewing machine they would gift our family. She gave me their contact information and said she would send them a note so they could expect me to contact them. When I left the Falls I also had three boxes of winter clothing for our family.
When I got home and I reached out to the Textile Center, I was met with enthusiasm and a date was set for me to bring members of my family to the warehouse to select some free items for themselves. As we drove to the Textile Center my family was asking questions as best they could in limited English about where we were going and what we were picking up. When they figured out we were not going to get finished clothing they seemed a bit disappointed but I could not really explain what it was we were doing. Once we were at the warehouse though and Nancy explained that they could fill boxes with fabric and sewing notions they became animated! She gave them several plastic containers for home storage as well. My car was packed full, every nook filled with yards and yards of fabric, yarn, scissors, knitting needles, crochet hooks and numerous sewing kits and six lovely sewing carry bags. I made two more trips back during the week that followed to pick up a sewing machine and several more boxes of fabric for them. They completed two outfits in less than a week. I have enclosed photos of them wearing the new outfits and a photo of Zainab's stitching handiwork. I am so thankful for the connection, and the industry and the joy it has brought to our family. Thank you, ECMN.