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Very late in the evening of April 11, after almost a year of planning, preparation, and waiting, about 25 mem-bers of the Holland First United Methodist Church gathered at the Gerald R. Ford Airport in Grand Rapids and met the Ghasemi Family of Afghanistan.
The members of the Ghasemi Family were a long time in coming to us. They left Afghanistan many years ago, and they were a long time in Iran and in Turkey before coming to Holland. The parents are Jan Ali and Fatemeh. Their daughter is Tayebeh, and their sons are Mortaza, Mojtaba, and Mohsen. The children are in their early to mid-20’s.
With help from FUMC volunteers, the members of the Ghasemi Family have enrolled in English Language Classes at Engedi Church. Those classes will soon end, but on June 20, they will begin a summer term at the Midtown Center.
They are also learning the customs of their new home. June they will be attending a Cultural Orientation in Grand Rapids. And by the time this is published, some members of the family will have toured a local business where they may be employed as soon as they have learned enough English.
They have also had the opportunity to develop relation-ships with some people of the church. They have been to Window on the Waterfront, Windmill Island, and the State Park. They have had lively conversations with the help of an iphone translating app. Two of the boys attended a local soccer game and had ice cream after-wards with some new friends.
The Refugee Resettlement Team, and many volunteers from Holland First UMC will be working with the Ghasemi Family for a long time, befriending them and helping them to begin the process of assimilating to what is for them a new and very different culture.
If you have not already volunteered and would like to do so, please call any one of the following: Jean Obermiller (499-7120), Bob & Jo Bird (786-3668), Mary Buttrey (399-2887), Jim & Abby Searls (772-4306), Al Minert (396-3751), George Ward (786-4761)
You can click on names to send e-mails.
If you would like to contribute financially, mark your offering “Refugee Resettlement” (Checks should be payable to First UMC) and put it in the offering plate.
And above all else, please pray for the Mohhammadi—Ghasemi Family: Jan Ali, Fatemeh, Tayebeh, Mortaza, Mojtaba and Mohsen
Michigan Area Bishop, David Bard, has appointed The Reverend Brad Bartelmay as the new Senior Pastor to First United Methodist Church of Holland. The appointment is effective July 1, 2017. July 9, 2017 will be Brad's first Sunday … Read More ›