The name of the innkeeper who made room in his stable for Mary, Joseph, and Jesus doesn't appear in the Bible, but I bet that Mary and Joseph never forgot, and that he never forgot the miracle that occurred that night in his barn. And what about all of the other innkeepers in town? Do you think they regretted their decision to close the door?
We all know the familiar story of Christmas--Mary and Joseph, wandering from inn to inn on the verge of giving birth, finding every door barred to them.
Each year, we have the opportunity to host Social Work interns from local universities, sometimes at the Bachelor’s level, and sometimes at the Master’s level. This year, we are hosting both and are excited to share with them the reality of daily work with families who came to Minnesota with refugee status, and to have their help and support in this work.
This year, we asked each intern to introduce themselves, so without further ado, meet:
Brian, MCC’s new Health Case Manager, joins the Refugee Services team with a wide variety of experience.
Moving to the Twin Cities to accept a Lutheran Volunteer Corps position at MCC Refugee Services represents a kind of homecoming for Emily, who grew up outside St. Paul before heading to Luther College in Iowa.
When the opportunity to lobby for refugees in Washington D.C. arose, Habiba Rashid jumped at the chance. MCC’s former Executive Director, Peg Chemberlin, was collaborating with Oxfam on a World Refugee Day advocacy day, and turned to MCC Refugee Services to see if any former refugees on our staff would be willing to travel to D.C. and share their story on the Hill.
After two and a half years with Mankato Refugee Services, our Program Director, Margo, will be stepping down from her position. As the second program director to lead our Mankato team, Margo has worked very hard to expand the program and develop staff capacity.
This January, Mohamed Ibrahim, MCC’s former Community Health Worker, visited Mariam and her family to talk about her son’s asthma. While there, he noticed that Said (age 6) was hiding his hands behind his back. When Mohamed asked him why, he saw immediately that Said had severe frostbite. It turned out that Said had spent the last few frigid days playing outside in the snow, even though he’d lost his gloves. No one in Mariam’s family had heard of frostbite before and they were concerned by the painful state of Said’s hands.
Eight years ago, Lah Lah came to Minnesota as a 12 year-old refugee with her family and was resettled by MCC Refugee Services. Today, she’s working as a Case Aide in our resettlement program, helping new families as they arrive to Minnesota.
Refugees don’t stay refugees forever. Hassan Ibrahim’s life provides a clear illustration.
Hassan was only 4 years old when he fled his home in Somalia at the outbreak of the civil war in 1991. He grew up in Kenya’s Dadaab refugee camp, where he completed high school and a university education, as well as marrying and starting a family with his wife.