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Dec 07, 2011

ECF Profiles Two Churches Working with Episcopal Migration Ministries

The Rev. John Sewak Ray remembers when he and the members of his parish first met Paw Htoo, a Burmese Karen refugee they welcomed to the United States a few years back. 


The woman was getting off a plane in Atlanta with her three young girls, where she was to resettle with assistance from Refugee Resettlement and Immigration Services of Atlanta(RRISA), a local affiliate of Episcopal Migration Ministries.


“They had travelled from Bangkok to Tokyo to Chicago to Atlanta, all in one go,” Ray said. “Imagine our shock when she got off the plane with only one plastic bag. We thought there must be luggage, but that was all they had.”


Ray and the members of Christ the King Episcopal Church in Lilburn, Georgia assisted the family for a period of several months after they arrived, providing a furnished apartment, food, English tutoring, transportation to appointments, friendship, and a sympathetic ear.


It was an undertaking laden with a number of challenges; Paw Htoo spoke no English and had lost her husband while living in a refugee camp in Thailand. She was also arriving during a tough economic period and would have to quickly adjust and find work to support her three daughters. The members of Christ the King had to work hard to help her meet all of these challenges.


Read more, including an account from St. Alban's, Austin, at ECF Vital Practices.